Tigers' Boesch happy to be back from injury

NOAH TRISTER AP Sports Writer Published:

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) -- When the Detroit Tigers made their run to the AL championship series last year, Brennan Boesch wasn't able to play.

Boesch, the 26-year-old outfielder who hit 16 home runs in 115 games, was unavailable because of a right thumb injury that required surgery, but he's back now and says he's 100 percent heading into the season.

Boesch is expected to play an important role for Detroit, hitting second in a lineup that will include sluggers Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder immediately behind him. Manager Jim Leyland likes having a bit of power in the No. 2 spot and says the 6-foot-4, 235-pound Boesch does a good enough job avoiding double plays.

In 2010, Boesch hit 14 homers as a rookie, and he improved offensively last year.