Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera denied telling a reporter the groin muscles he had surgically repaired this offseason are still affecting him.

A story published by USA Today on Monday said Cabrera, in Spanish, talked about the lingering injury.

“There are times when I feel good, but there are always muscles that are tightening, muscles that are not functioning properly,'” Cabrera told USA Today. “It's part of the process. The same thing is happening to Justin Verlander, but the difference is he pitches every five days, so you don't see it as frequently.”

“But as he and I talked about, we're never going to offer any excuses for our performance. We always want to be out on the field and compete, and I think that's the most important thing we can do, compete and try to get past this tough time. And the main thing is we're in first place.”

Before the All-Star Game at Target Field on Tuesday, Cabrera denied making the comments.