Laird hamstring injury messes up Tigers' planned moves
There’s a reason folks knock on wood.
Just when it looked like the Tigers were getting healthier, ready to welcome catcher Alex Avila back from his rehab stint in time to start Thursday’s game, manager Jim Leyland didn’t want to “put the cart before the horse” and talk about it too early.
“I do. But I can’t say it for sure. Keep your fingers crossed. Hopefully everything goes well. He’ll be catching tomorrow for the Tigers, but once again, I can’t swear to that,” said Leyland, when asked if he anticipated Avila back Thursday, noting that the Tigers have already had two previous planned transactions nixed when someone else got hurt during a game.
“We’re going to make two moves after the game. ... I mean, supposedly.”
The Tigers may have had one of their planned moves foiled in the sixth inning of Wednesday’s game when Gerald Laird hurt himself taking an extra base on a deep fly ball, leaving the game with what was called left hamstring cramping.
“I felt it when I popped up from my slide. And then I was just standing out there and it was getting worse and worse and worse. So hopefully it was just kind of a cramp and dehydrated,” Laird said. “But I can feel it right now, it's like a knot in there. They said I'm going to feel a knot for a little while. I just took an IV, hopefully it’ll be good (Thursday). I’m just going to hydrate, see how it feels.”
His status is now day-to-day.
“We’ll check that out a little bit more (Thursday).My initial thought was probably DL, because it looked like maybe a pulled groin area. I wasn’t really sure what it was,” Leyland said. “He’s being treated as we speak, and he’ll be re-evaluated tomorrow, to see what we have to do.”
If he’s not better by Thursday, he’ll go on the disabled list, allowing Avila to return.
If he is, he’ll stay and back up Avila, and third-string catcher Bryan Holaday will go back to Toledo.
The Tigers made the other move, though, sending relief pitcher Luke Putkonen to Toledo, to allow them to bring up Thursday’s starter, Jacob Turner.
It was the third time this season — counting spring training — that Laird’s had a hamstring issues. In an attempt to minimize the possibility of a recurrence, he’s been working with strength and conditioning coach Javair Gillett to stay loose.
All of his issues have come while running the bases, not while catching, and this time it was the other hamstring.
“I guess I’m getting on base too much this year. No, that’s the thing, I feel good at the dish and I feel good on the bases. I feel like I’m running real well. It’s just one of those things where I don’t know,” said Laird of the frustration he was obviously feeling when he came off the field, firing his helmet to the ground on his way into the dugout.
“It’s just one of those things, coming out of the game right now, that’s why I was so frustrated. Ricky (Porcello), he was throwing a good game and I just wanted to be back there. But it’s just one of those things where I just wanted to be on the safe side.”