Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, manager Brad Ausmus stressed the injury is not serious.
"In terms of movement—stretching, putting his arm over his head—he doesn't feel it," he said. "He had a similar injury a few years back where he would feel it (when) stretching, putting his arm over his head or twisting. And that took him five days. He doesn't feel it on those movements with this, so we're optimistic it'll just be two to three days."
Cabrera has been one of the most reliable sluggers in baseball for more than a decade, dating back to his time with the Florida Marlins early in his career. He tallied at least 30 home runs in seven of his first nine years with Detroit, including a pair of 44-homer campaigns.
While the 34-year-old Venezuela native has remained mostly durable throughout his time in the big leagues, he did miss an extended stretch in 2015 due to a left calf strain. More recently, he had a stint on the disabled list during the opening stages of this season with a right groin strain.
The Tigers opted against trying to use Victor Martinez regularly at first base during Cabrera's previous absence. Assuming that remains the decision, Alex Avila figures to see most of the starts at first, and the team could call on John Hicks to provide corner-infield depth.
Even though the Tigers do feature a lot of offensive talent, the lineup still isn't nearly as formidable without Cabrera serving as an anchor in the middle. The team is going to need its pitching staff to step up to withstand the likely drop in run production during the brief time Cabrera is out.