"He's got a Grade 1 oblique strain that we think will be two or three days," Ausmus said.
That would keep him out until this weekend. The Tigers host the Rangers for three games beginning Friday, then embark on a three-city, 11-game road trip against the Astros, White Sox and Royals.
If Cabrera ends up needing more time, the Tigers can retroactively place Cabrera on the 10-day disabled list. In that case, he'd be eligible to return May 27 at Chicago. Unless it worsens, the Tigers don't believe that'll be necessary.
Cabrera spent 10 days on the DL last month with a right groin strain, but he had started all 12 games since his return May 2.
With Cabrera out, the Tigers shuffled their lineup. Alex Avila started at first base, but J.D. Martinez -- who homered twice on Tuesday -- moved up to the third spot in the order. Avila will likely be a key part of filling in at first base, since the Tigers are scheduled to face right-handed pitchers for at least the next four games.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.