"I felt fine the whole game and I didn't have any issues," Zimmermann said. "Obviously in the back of your mind, when you have [a bunch of] days off with a groin injury, you're always wondering if the next pitch is going to be the pitch where you feel it again, but I didn't feel anything."
Zimmermann said he felt a little cautious at times, especially covering plays at first base, but thinks he is fully recovered from the injury.
His only problematic innings of the night were the second and the sixth. He allowed a run in each of those innings, and said he felt his command wavering a bit.
"I didn't step on the gas 100 percent," Zimmermann said. "Obviously I'm a little rusty. I had a couple walks, wasn't really locating the whole night, so I expect the next start to be a lot better."
Zimmermann liked the way his curveball looked Friday, saying he preferred it to the slider. Catcher James McCann, who was 3-for-4 and a double shy of the cycle, said he was impressed with Zimmermann's return to the mound.
"To me, it looked like he was laboring a bit," McCann said. "He'll probably tell you different, just because he's a bulldog, and there's never anything he can't do. But again, he made good pitches when he needed to."
Zimmermann said he's not quite satisfied with only going 5 2/3 innings, but it's a good building block for the rest of the season.
"I'll definitely take it," he said. "We got the win. That's the only thing that matters. I'd like to go a little longer, but 5 2/3 is plenty. After [a bunch of] days off, I'm sure I'll feel it in the morning."
Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.