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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

After two straight days of baseball activities, Avila heads out on rehab stint

DETROIT — Making incremental progress toward his return from the seven-day disabled list for concussions, Alex Avila did on-field baseball activities for the second straight day Wednesday.

Everything was fine after Avila participated in Tuesday’s pregame activities, and Wednesday’s session was just reinforcement.

“OK yesterday, so we’re just looking to see if things repeat today, and then a possibility if they do, that we might send him out tomorrow to play a game,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said before Avila went out to try. “I mean, he might catch a game and, we don’t know, get headaches or something. I don’t know. I can’t give you those answers.”

The next step is a rehabilitation assignment with one of the Tigers’ minor league affiliates. After the game, the Tigers said he’d be headed to Triple-A Toledo, with the plan for as many as four games before he returns.

“We haven’t made any determination about how long. We’re talking about playing it by ear. I talked to Alex before the game today, just so you know, and I’ll tell you exactly what I told him. Personally, I think you don’t want to forget that he hasn’t played for 10 days. You’re thrilled to death that he’s healthy, but you still can’t forget that he hasn’t had an at-bat in 10 days, so when we had our conversation, my suggestion was, we’ll play it by ear,” Leyland said, laying out the plan of catching seven innings Thursday and Friday, then DH’ing Saturday, then going back behind the plate Sunday.

“The No. 1 thing is to get him back here healthy. But the next thing is to be productive. He hasn’t seen any pitching for 10 days now. That’s not easy. I’d hate to bring him into New York to face (Matt) Harvey after sitting off for 12 days.”


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