Iglesias unlikely to play in series vs. Royals

Tigers proceeding with caution as shortstop deals with groin injury

Iglesias unlikely to play in series vs. Royals

DETROIT -- The groin injury that sidelined Jose Iglesias from Thursday's series finale against Chicago appears likely to cost the Tigers shortstop the entire weekend series vs. the Royals.

Iglesias originally injured the groin last weekend against Kansas City, but he returned after one game -- a game he missed mainly out of fear he could aggravate it on a wet field. The fact that he felt tightness in his groin again in his first game back was not good news for manager Brad Ausmus.

"We gave him a couple days last time and it popped back up," Ausmus said, "so he's going to have to take a few days at least before we'd consider putting him back in."

The injury has become a reminder why the Tigers' kept two backup infielders out of Spring Training, allowing Detroit to proceed cautiously with their shortstop without being caught short-handed. Andrew Romine started Friday's series opener after Hernan Perez started at shortstop on Thursday. That said, Iglesias' defense will be difficult to replace.

Ausmus has made a point of taking precautions with Iglesias and injuries after losing him last season to stress fractures in both shins.

Bruce Rondon made about 40 light throws in the Comerica Park outfield Friday afternoon so that team officials could evaluate him. The hard-throwing reliever, sidelined since the final days of Spring Training with biceps tendinitis, will see how he feels before the Tigers figure out how to proceed with him from here.

Rondon's K in the 7th

Rondon threw live batting practice to hitters in Lakeland, Fla., last week, but he felt soreness afterwards and went back on a treatment plan before being summoned to Detroit. Friday was his first time throwing since then. An MRI exam taken within the last week indicated no structural damage, according to Ausmus.

"If he feels good tomorrow, we'll probably stretch him out a little bit further," pitching coach Jeff Jones said Friday.

Justin Verlander began stretching out his long-tossing sessions Friday afternoon, going out to 90 feet following back-to-back days of throwing at 60 feet. He's expected to continue long-tossing for the next 7-10 days before throwing off a mound.

• In a procedural move, the Tigers moved injured closer Joe Nathan from the 15- to 60-day disabled list. No corresponding move was made, so Detroit has an open spot on its 40-man roster. Nathan underwent Tommy John surgery last week in Texas and is out for the season.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.