The first baseman left Friday night's 8-6 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in the fourth inning when he strained his left calf while breaking for second base on an attempted hit-and-run.
"I'm not optimistic at all," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "When Miggy says he can't play, it is serious, because Miggy plays through everything."
Cabrera had an MRI, which showed no injury to his Achilles tendon. He will be examined again Saturday.
"I can't sit here and say we'll be fine, because he's the best hitter in baseball, at least in my eyes," Tigers right fielder J.D. Martinez said. "But if you look at our lineup, we've still got a lot of weapons."
Since his first full season in the majors in 2004, no one in baseball has appeared in more games than Cabrera. From 2004 to '14, he averaged 157 games per season and played fewer than 157 games once -- 2013 (148 games).
Cabrera's calf injury overshadowed Anibal Sanchez's no-hit bid for the Tigers, which was broken up when former Detroit teammate Ezequiel Carrera lined a single to left with one out in the eighth inning.
Cabrera was on first base with no outs in the fourth inning and a 3-2 count to Victor Martinez, and took off with the pitch. Martinez fouled the ball off, but Cabrera pulled up sharply, grabbing his left leg. He was attended to by trainers and limped off the field.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Sanchez loses no-hit bid in 8th; Tigers hang on
Anibal Sanchez loses his bid for a no-hitter on Ezequiel Carrera's single in the eighth inning and Miguel Cabrera exits in the fourth inning because of a strained left calf as the Tigers hold on for an 8-6 win over the Blue Jays.
Miguel Cabrera Strains left calf, DL stint likely
Baseball Tonight Minute: The Baseball Tonight crew discusses Miguel Cabrera's left calf strain and when he could return to the Tigers.