Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera says it's too early to tell if he'll be back for opening day



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LAKELAND, Florida — Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera says it's too early to say whether he'll be ready for opening day.

"Who knows? Everybody that sees me, I want to be ready for opening day. You don't know what's going to happen," Cabrera said Monday. "Let's wait and see what happens."

Cabrera had offseason ankle surgery, but he says he hopes the hardest part of his recovery is over. He's been hitting in the cage, and he says every day he feels his ankle getting stronger.

"I was three months unable to walk, unable to do anything. I think that time is over," he said. "Right now I do what I like, go in the cage, hit, try to prepare myself to be ready. ... That kind of injury you've got to be patient and wait for the right time to go on the field and do your stuff."

Cabrera dealt with ankle problems last season, when the Tigers won the AL Central for a fourth straight year but lost in the Division Series to Baltimore. The first baseman had surgery in October to remove bone spurs from his right ankle and repair a stress fracture in the arch of his foot.

Cabrera, who turns 32 in April, hit .313 last year with 25 home runs, the lowest homer output of his career over a full season.

"When you had the kind of problems I had, you have to change your swing, you have to do adjustments, you have to find a way," Cabrera said. "You can't have the same approach. You don't have to wait for the right pitch. You have to swing in your zone and try to adjust your approach."

The Tigers announced Monday that they have agreed to terms on 2015 contracts with eight players: left-hander Ian Krol, third baseman Nick Castellanos and right-handers Buck Farmer, Shane Greene, Bruce Rondon, Chad Smith, Alex Wilson and Josh Zeid. Detroit has 34 players on its 40-man roster under contract for 2015.

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