Avila to undergo nonsurgical treatment program on left knee (updated)

After further evaluation, Alex Avila is not going to have surgery on his injured left knee. The Tigers catcher will undergo a treatment program with the goal of returning sooner.

The decision came after consultation with three doctors, two of which suggested he might not need surgery to repair what was initially diagnosed as a loose body in his knee. The last examination came Wednesday from Dr. Kyle Anderson, a former Tigers team physician and current Lions team physician.

“With further examination and an enhanced MRI, they’re not convinced that it’s a loose body, that it may not be loose,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “There’s something there, but they’re not convinced that it’s loose.”

A loose body in the knee typically requires arthroscopic surgery to remove, which carries a typical timetable of six weeks recovery time. If the body isn’t loose, however, then rehab and treatment could help.

“It wasn’t something that I was trying to find a doctor that was going to tell me not to have surgery,” Avila said. “It was kind of a collaborative thing to find out the best course of action on both. Basically the second MRI kind of made it look a little more clear and we were able to come up with this plan of action, to make sure it’s something that can get me back on the field as quick as possible but at the same time, with long-term in mind as well.”

There’s no timetable yet for a return, but Avila admitted he’s hoping for a quicker return than the aforementioned timetable for arthroscopic surgery.

“I would hope so,” Avila said. “I’m not sure just because everybody’s body heals differently. Basically, it’s going to go how the body feels, what it tells me.”

Avila has been sidelined since last weekend, originally by a bruised right forearm suffered on a foul tip. While he sat Friday, he had his knee checked out. The knee had been bothering him for the last few weeks, Avila said Saturday, becoming increasingly difficult to play through. It’s a knee that had tendinitis a few years ago, but nothing major enough to require surgery.

The 28-year-old is batting .200 (12-for-60) with a double, two home runs, eight RBIs, 13 walks and 21 strikeouts this season.

From a team standpoint, Avila’s left-handed bat in a predominantly right-handed lineup and his handling of the Tigers’ pitching staff makes him a major part of Detroit’s postseason hopes, though rookie James McCann has filled in capably. From an individual standpoint, Avila is a free agent next offseason, making his health critical for his future.

His decision, he said, is a balance of the two.

“The reason why I had doctors looking at it and took a few days, I wanted to make sure I exhausted all my options because I wanted to make sure I got back as soon as possible,” Avila said. “But at the same time, I’m thinking long-term and my career going forward. So that’s why I took a couple days, a few doctors saw it and all the doctors were in communication so it was kind of a collaborative effort. Anytime you have an injury and stuff like that –you know I don’t like talking about injuries –but one that’s going to keep me out as long as like this, it’s always going to be a tough decision.”


‘postseason hopes’ and ‘going into the season with alex avila as your only catcher with legit experience’…..what a gong show DD has going on, no?

What an ugly game already. 6 runs….are you kidding me!!!!!!

No surgery for a “loose body”?

Well, it’s not impossible to come back from 6 runs down.

Nope, not impossible at all. I just don’t have a warm & fuzzy feeling tonight. Hope I’m wrong.

So, is there something wrong with JD? He hit the tunnel and Davis hit for him.

Just tuning in and see Miggy is wearing glasses. Any word on why ? Big chance wasted that inning. I think vmart should bat right side regardless of the pitcher if they are going to keep him in the lineup

Well tiger’s got their obligatory 2 runs tonight ….that’s enough.

I’m becoming disillusioned.

checking back in…..is it over? ….no fun at all…..what can be done with this team? any ideas?…..KC losing…..Twins now one game back of Tigers….poised to tie for 2nd place tomorrow……can Anibal stop that?

They can hit only during day games. Vampires they are not

I’m tired of trying to be reasonable. So, I shall rage, again. Lobstein doesn’t have enuff velocity, speed differential on secondary pitches or command. Dan and Jim mostly agreed today with my Yankee barrage from a few weeks ago. OBP is AL good, but Rs don’t result. Where the heck is small ball to compensate? And Sparky’s 40 game mark. What does that mean for ateam that starts 11-2 and then goes upside down like the Tigers?

He was using glasses ,sun glasses?, when he was hit by a bouncing ball at 3B . That saved his eye back then

1. Pen was A1; gave us every opportunity.
2. Nicky C hit the ball much better tonight.
3. Ian/Igloo DP was very cool.
So much for the good. Pitchers’ second opportunities rise from the ashes when they face our batting order. Lobster was declawed early; reality is here; there is no fear of Miggy with Victor behind him. Pitchers are either more aggressive or simply walk him, knowing that a lefty Martinez is basically worthless; it’s killing the lineup; I thought he was coming out of it, but you’d be better off with anyone else in the lineup if you’re facing a righty. VMart should bat all righty, or sit out against righty pitchers. Boy, if we don’t hold a team to less than two, we can’t win. Dreading the Cardinal series; which Anabal shows up tomorrow? Nice game for Igloo; Cespedes is so lost right now. It is painful to watch this team right now, and we are talking Tiger fan for 56 years. And I know, it’s a long season. It’s just that the trend doesn’t feel right.

Lobstein is a fifth starter. Before this game he had the best ERA and FIP among Tigers starters.
Both skyrocketed tonight but still 4th but his FIP remain good at 3.64
His high GB rate would be loved by any other team.
OBP? Cespedes , JD and Castellanos, 5, 6,7 have a too low OBP. Well below Martinez. for the last 2 .Why ? Huge SO rates above the league average and low BB rates with JD just above average and Cespedes in the bottom
Oddly enough, the Tigers are 5th in MLB in wRC plus

OBP? Dan and Jim said the Tigers were #2 in the AL. I already said what they said about Lobstein, which is not very good and is reality. AND, in my reality, I hope I am wrong, but the guy’s MiLB track record is not favorable.

Small MLB sample for Lobstein leads oftentimes to large error projections. You of all people would take that factor into consideration, presumably.

I just dont expect much from the fifth starter

The hitters’ approach is terrible right now. There’s not even anyone on the bench that is a threat to replace any of them, so they’ll have to motivate themselves.
The funny (?) thing is, the bullpen is doing well. Irony, anyone?
Normally I’d say we win tomorrow but the Tigers have a knack for losing games that Sanchez starts.
Brad said that Victor was sick last night. He also answered a question about hitting Victor RH only; that the lineup would be even more RHed than it already is.

A dead lefty is no lefty at all.

Off night for the Lobber. Hope to see him bounce back next outing.

Heard an interesting stat on MLB.TV. The BP for the Tigers has the lowest ERA of any team for the month of May.

They have not been the problem. ….

Pingback: Tigers catcher Alex Avila decides against knee surgery; return timetable uncertain | HardballTalk

BP has been better lately. Nice to have. Problem right now is the bats are not plating runs. Hopefully today’s lineup shakeup helps that out.

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