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Cabrera's recovery appears to be on fast track

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Boston – Miguel Cabrera continues to aggressively push the boundaries of his healing process.

There he was Saturday taking ground balls at first base. He is back on a regular hitting regimen, taking full batting practice with the third group and he's been taking throws at first base.

"He's still a ways from getting into a game, but this is kind of the first step," manager Brad Ausmus said. "Moving out of the batter's box, getting a good jump on a ground ball, those plays are more the issue. The first movement from a dead stop is more risky."

He hasn't put his ailing left calf through anything that stringent yet, but clearly he seems ahead of the prescribed six-to-eight-week recovery timetable.

"He did the Alter-G (anti-gravity) treadmill at 70 percent for seven or eight minutes (Friday), kind of building up," Ausmus said. "But he was tired at the end. He said he was tired so they stopped him after about seven minutes. They didn't want it to seize up."

Cabrera played the last month of the season last year on a broken foot and was named player of the month for September. Ausmus was asked if he thought Cabrera would try to come back, even if the calf wasn't fully healed.

"It wouldn't surprise me," he said. "He's tougher than your average major league baseball player."

Ausmus was also asked if he could envision a scenario where Cabrera, if he wasn't fully healed, could be the designated hitter with Victor Martinez playing first.

"No," he said. "If Miggy is to the point where he's able to play in a game, then we wouldn't be worried about his first step coming out of the box. He probably could handle the first step on a ground ball as well."

Twitter @cmccosky

Miguel Cabrera