Avila out with sore patella tendon in left knee (updated)
The Tigers brought back Gerald Laird as a backup catcher in large part to help ease the wear and tear on Alex Avila, who developed patella soreness in both knees by season’s end from catching every day. Now that Avila has a sore patella tendon in his left knee again, Laird is back behind the plate for the rest of the Tigers’ series in Seattle.
Avila is potentially available to catch in an emergency, but barring that, he won’t be behind the plate for at least tonight and Wednesday.
“He had this issue last year some,” manager Jim Leyland said Tuesday afternoon. “I’m not making a big deal about it, but I’m not making light of it either.”
Neither is Avila, who said he “definitely” thinks he could be back in the lineup Thursday. He said doctors told him he’ll have to work to strengthen the muscles around the knee, but that it shouldn’t be anything long term.
“I can’t do anything more to it,” Avila said. “It’s just a pain tolerance issue. It’s not going to require surgery or anything like that.”
Leyland and Avila said he first felt it when he charged out from behind the plate on Michael Saunders’ bunt single in the third inning. Avila didn’t say anything about it to Leyland, who kept him in the game the rest of the night.
“I felt bad last night,” Leyland said. “I probably should’ve gotten him out of there in the ninth inning, but I didn’t hear about it.”
Avila said that by game’s end, it was pretty bad.
“Probably the worse stages of last year, I felt yesterday,” Avila said. “Why, I have no idea.”