Abdullah had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder, according to a source close to the situation, and is expected to be back by the start of training camp this summer.
Lions coach Jim Caldwell confirmed Abdullah had surgery but declined to give specifics, including whether Abdullah was playing with the injury the entire season.
He also said "we'll see" when he expects Abdullah to return.
"He's recovering nicely," Caldwell said.
The Lions' second-round pick in 2015, Abdullah ended up leading Detroit in rushing last season with 597 yards and was the team's primary kick returner.
He did not practice at the team's first open OTA on Thursday.
The news was first reported by the Detroit Free Press.