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Bob Wojnowski and Chris McCosky discuss the improving Tigers, the 9-11 start and what to expect from key players in the coming weeks. Detroit News

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Kansas City, Mo. — Miguel Cabrera was a picture of frustration as he dressed to leave the clubhouse following the Tigers' 10-6 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Thursday.

He returned to the lineup for the first time in four days, his left biceps finally healed, but he came out of the game with a right hamstring strain after he’d singled in the sixth inning.

“I don’t know, man,” he said when asked how it felt.

Pretty bad?

“Yeah, yeah.”

It’s got to be frustrating.

“Oh my God (yes),” he said. “I don’t know what to say. Just have to wait to see how I feel tomorrow.”

More: Henning: Cabrera’s return to form comes with case of crankiness

The injury might land Cabrera on the 10-day disabled list.

“We have to wait and see,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “A hamstring strain is nothing to sneeze at. The doctors will make a decision here tonight or tomorrow and we’ll let you know.”

Gardenhire waited until the last moment Thursday before he penciled Cabrera’s name on the lineup card. Cabrera tested his left bicep in the batting cage and declared himself good to go. Finally, Gardenhire put him in as the DH, subbing him for Victor Martinez who was dealing with a swollen ankle.

“We just have to make sure,” Gardenhire said before he wrote out his lineup. “I don’t want to put him out there and have him do something, have a setback and have it take longer. I just want him to be sure he can get through these things.”

At that point in the morning, Gardenhire couldn’t say for sure whether Cabrera would even play in this series because of the arm.

“I can’t say for sure,” he said. “I told him, ‘I just want you to be healthy.’ If we go out and he’s still not totally healthy — this is something that can linger. If he takes a swing, it could get worse and we could lose him for a while. That’s why we’re being cautious.”

But it became clear the arm was no longer an issue.

“Miggy was fine with the arm,” Gardenhire said. “He was good to go. He said, 'I’m fine.' I asked if there was any tightness and he said no. Said his arm felt good.”

Cabrera was shaking out his left arm, though, after a couple of swings during the game — particularly when he swung and missed. That, Gardenhire said, was caused by the compression sleeve he wore to protect his biceps.

“He felt some tightness in his forearm and I think that was from the band he was wearing,” Gardenhire said. “He was pulling on that. That’s why he was shaking his arm. It had nothing to do with the other thing (biceps). One had nothing to do with the other.”

More: Francisco Liriano’s most loyal friend, his slider, is aging as well as he is

If Cabrera goes on the DL, the Tigers will likely recall catcher Grayson Greiner from Triple-A Toledo. That would allow John Hicks to play more at first base. He’s started at first in two of the last three games.

According to The Blade in Toledo, Greiner was pulled from his start Thursday night.

“Obviously, it’s frustrating, especially for Miggy,” Hicks said. “He finally felt healthy enough with his arm and then something else happens. We hope it’s just a day-to-day thing and we can get him back by the end of this series.”

Bell down

Chad Bell was optioned back to Toledo after the game. He worked 1 2/3 innings and was tagged for five hits and five runs.

The Tigers will recall a pitcher from Toledo later Thursday night or Friday morning.

Bell had thrown only four innings since April 19.

Norris recovering

The Tigers said left-handed pitcher Daniel Norris had a successful muscular decompression procedure on his groin and pelvic region Thursday, performed by William Meyers in Philadelphia.

Norris was expected to stay overnight, have a follow-up exam Friday, and then head to TigerTown in Lakeland to begin his rehabilitation.

Typically, recovery time for this procedure is 8 to 12 weeks.

Around the horn

Jose Iglesias rolled his ankle after knocking an RBI single in the fifth inning, but he stayed in the game. He said afterward that he was fine and expected to be able to play Friday.

“He rolled over his ankle as he tried to stop and kind of spun out a little bit,” Gardenhire said. “He’s fine.”

… Iglesias struck out to end the game and appeared to have a little exchange with catcher Salvador Perez. But it was all in fun, he said. Iglesias took a mid-90s fastball from Kelvin Herrera high and tight, then looked at a slow curve for strike two and swung meekly at another curve for strike three.

… Right-hander Warwick Saupold, who is battling a flu bug, pitched through a hamstring cramp in the seventh inning. He isn’t expected to miss any time.

… Victor Martinez (swollen ankle) is expected to return to the lineup Friday.

chris.mccosky@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/cmccosky

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