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07/09/07 4:46 PM EST

Cabrera hopes to play in All-Star Game

Marlins slugger reports improvement after jamming shoulder

SAN FRANCISCO -- Miguel Cabrera reported improvement in the jammed left shoulder that knocked him out of Monday's State Farm Home Run Derby, and the Marlins third baseman remains optimistic that he will be able to participate in the 78th annual All-Star Game on Tuesday.

"I feel better. I can move more of my shoulder," Cabrera said. "I'm going to get some ice and some treatment at the field. Hopefully it will do better for me."

The 24-year-old Cabrera injured his shoulder while diving for a ground ball in Saturday's Marlins game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and was lifted from Sunday's series finale at Dodger Stadium before a pitch was thrown.

Cabrera said he was "a little bit" concerned about the injury, which he has some familiarity dealing with -- a similar situation cost him two games last September at New York's Shea Stadium.

This most recent incident, Cabrera said, was less painful, however, evidenced by the fact that 24 hours of rest seems to have helped markedly.

"I felt like I wasn't going to move my shoulder today, because last night it hurt," Cabrera said. "I thought it was going to be bad today, but it felt better."

Cabrera will be an idle spectator at Monday's Derby, a competition in which he finished third last season and an experience he had been looking forward to following up on.

Instead, limited to rooting for his choices of Vladimir Guerrero and Magglio Ordonez, Cabrera said he is hopeful that he will at least be able to appear in Tuesday's contest in some form.

Cabrera leads the Marlins with 18 home runs at the All-Star break and is batting .324, good for ninth in the National League. He said he anticipated being ready to break the second half with the Marlins on Friday, not believing that his injury will cost him additional games.

Cabrera said Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez, a coach on the National League squad, will speak with NL skipper Tony La Russa to further gauge options. Cabrera's playing time could include spelling NL starting third baseman David Wright, or entering the game as a pinch-hitter.

All-Star Game Coverage

"I'd love to play [Tuesday]," Cabrera said. "I think [the pain is] going to be gone tomorrow."

If not, Cabrera still said that making the trip north from Los Angeles to the All-Star Game celebration was worth it.

"You have to come here," Cabrera said. "It's an experience. It's where you want to want to be."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.