June 25th, 2012

Avila having sore left knee examined

Gerald Laird is starting behind the plate for the Tigers, and he might have done so regardless of Alex Avila’s situation, since Avila caught all three games in Pittsburgh. However, Avila’s left knee is giving him trouble, and it has the Tigers concerned.

“I don’t know what’s going on,” manager Jim Leyland said. “We’re having it looked at, but I could tell he wasn’t feeling right in Pittsburgh. He wasn’t moving right. … I’m more concerned with this becuase he was off for 15 days (with the hamstring strain), and it’s sore.”

Avila said he was feeling pain in the knee on Sunday. It was particularly bad after the game, so the Tigers scheduled him for an MRI exam Monday morning. A Texas Rangers doctor will look over the results and check out the knee himself Monday evening.

“I mean, some days are better than others. Some days, it’s not as painful. It kind of gets to a point where I want to be able to knock it out and not have to deal with it, or least be able to manage it a little better. …

“It’s frustrating, because I was on the DL and had days off, and right when I come off, I start getting pain again, which is kind of concerning for me. I don’t understand why I would be having pain in my knee when I got off the DL.”

Avila said he doesn’t believe there’s anything structurally wrong with his knee, because he’s able to squat. It’s running and hitting that brings out the soreness. He’s frustrated, he said, because he had trouble near the end of last year, geared his offseason workout program to strengthen it, and now is feeling soreness again.

“All last year, at least the second half, I was playing with it and got it to a point where this may be something that I didn’t get fully taken care of and didn’t realize what kind of damage I did,” he said. “I’m getting another opinion today, so we’ll find out what he says.”