Cabrera left Monday night's 3-1 loss to the Royals after lunging for an errant throw from pitcher Daniel Norris and then making contact on his left arm with Royals batter Cheslor Cuthbert running down the first-base line. It's a similar injury to one Cabrera sustained during his early years with the Marlins, Ausmus said after the game.
Earlier on Tuesday afternoon, however, Ausmus told MLB Network Radio that Cabrera irritated the biceps a few weeks ago and aggravated it on Monday.
"A few weeks, he said that he felt similar, but it wasn't as bad," Ausmus said later on Tuesday, "and he was able to play through it. So just aggravated it a little bit, probably why he felt it a little bit more, because it was the second time over the course of a few weeks."
On the heels of starter Jordan Zimmermann rushing back from a different injury and landing on the disabled list, Cabrera's history gives reason for caution on the Tigers' part. Ausmus said Cabrera told him he felt much improved on Tuesday, but Ausmus exercised caution.
"You generally can only go on what the trainers, doctors and players are saying," Ausmus said, "but I think it's better to be cautious. If this were the last week of the season, I promise you Miggy would be playing, and would want to be in there. He's proven that in the past."
Asked if the disabled list was a possibility, Ausmus said, "Absolutely zero."
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who replaced Cabrera at first base in the fifth inning on Monday, started at first on Tuesday against Royals lefty Danny Duffy. Though the switch-hitting Saltalamacchia entered Tuesday with just 48 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers this season, the move provided some offensive punch in the lineup over utilityman Andrew Romine.
"Salty can inject some power," Ausmus said. "He's played first for us a number of times before, and he can get ahold of one and change the game with one swing of the bat."
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.