Laird leaves with left knee sprain
Tigers backup catcher Gerald Laird left Friday’s game against the Orioles with what the team called a left knee sprain after colliding with first baseman Don Kelly on a pop-up.
Laird will be re-evaluated on Saturday, according to the team. He’ll be evaluated on a day-to-day basis from there, but Laird said he should be ready to go again in a couple days.
The injury happened in the second inning with the Tigers holding a 3-0 lead. Starting pitcher Duane Below had walked the bases loaded before inducing a high pop-up from Jai Miller.
The ball went almost straight up, leaving Laird just a few steps to camp under it. With a sunny sky over Ed Smith Stadium, however, Don Kelly kept tracking it. Laird said he called for the ball, but that Kelly didn’t hear him.
Kelly continued to chase it until the last second. When he tried to duck away, he ran into Laird’s left knee as Laird made the catch.
Laird held onto the ball as he tumbled to the ground, but he immediately clutched at his knee right afterward. Head athletic trainer Kevin Rand came out of the dugout to attend to him, and helped him off along with non-roster infielder Brandon Douglas. Laird was seemingly unable to put weight on his left leg.
The move came hours after the Tigers sent insurance catcher Omir Santos to minor-league camp for an expected starting role at Triple-A Toledo. Detroit can recall him in case of injury, but he would have to be placed on the 40-man roster to do so.
That no longer appears necessary.