Lions coach Jim Caldwell confirmed to reporters that Abdullah had shoulder surgery shortly after the end of the regular season.
"He is recovering nicely," Caldwell said, while not giving a timeline for the back's eventual return.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Abdullah had surgery on his labrum in January. Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press first reported the news.
The Lions are likely to be cautious with the shifty running back early in the offseason. Rapoport added Abdullah is ahead of schedule in rehab, and Dr. James Andrews told Abdullah he should be cleared for contact in a month, per a source who has spoken to the player.
Abdullah led a meager Lions rushing attack with 597 yards, but struggled with fumbles as a rookie and averaged just 4.2 yards per tote.
Abdullah suffered the injury in a Week 16 win over the San Francisco 49ers, per Rapoport. The rookie still played in the final game of the season, carrying the ball 10 times.
The Lions added Stevan Ridley in the offseason to bolster the early-down rushing attack. Theo Riddick is a passing-down specialist who will likely see time in the slot this season. Power back Zach Zenner is a wild card after missing most of his rookie season after he suffered multiple cracked ribs in Week 6.
Abdullah carries the biggest optimism for the Lions' running game after the team owned a league-worst 83.4 yards per game rushing in 2015.
We won't freak out about offseason surgery and missed workouts in May, but if the injury lingers late in the summer it could become a precarious situation for Detroit's backfield.