Bruce Rondon misses TigerFest with virus

New Tiger veterans Francisco Rodriguez and Mike Aviles were absent from TigerFest on Saturday, missing the event for personal reasons according to general manager Al Avila. Bruce Rondon, meanwhile, was kept back in Florida because he’s dealing with a virus.

The virus supposedly came from a mosquito bite back in Venezuela, according to Avila. Reports earlier this week identified it as the Chikungunya virus. There are various viruses being spread around Venezuela and South America; the Zika virus has been in the news lately because it prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue a travel alert.

“Even though right now he’s probably OK,” Avila said, “our doctors felt, ‘Why put the other guys at risk?’ Right now he’s in Florida. I think he’s OK by now, and it’s more of a precaution to keep him there. He’s still not 100 percent ready to go, but from everything that our doctors are telling me, he’ll have no issues in Spring Training and be 100 percent healthy by the time he reports.”

The Spring Training prognosis is good for Rondon, who will have to compete for a spot in a Tigers bullpen with one, maybe two spots available. Any momentum he had built up in an extended look down the stretch last season dissipated when he was sent home in mid-September for effort level. He turned his fortunes around on the mound in winter ball until an benches-clearing fight in December led to a suspension. Avila said in October that Rondon had been one of the first players to commit to attending TigerFest and the winter caravan.

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