09 May 2012
Jason Beck reported on Tuesday evening that Alex Avila injured his left patella tendon during Monday nightâ€™s loss to the Seattle Mariners. Avila, who suffered from soreness in both knees at the end of last season, implied that playing through the pain wouldnâ€™t risk further injury.
â€śI canâ€™t do anything more to it,â€ť Avila said. â€śItâ€™s just a pain tolerance issue. Itâ€™s not going to require surgery or anything like that.â€ť
So Gerald Laird, who caught in his stead last night (and got a hit!), will probably be getting more than his usual share of work in the coming days or weeks. Itâ€™s tough to have to see Avila sit out while the team is struggling on offense, but Iâ€™m sure Jim Leyland (rightly) figures that itâ€™s more important that he gets healthy and remains pain-free for the stretch run.But thereâ€™s another interesting aspect to this story. According to both Leyland and Avila, Alex kept the injury (and the increasing pain) to himself during Mondayâ€™s game instead of reporting it to either the skipper or athletic trainer Kevin Rand. Iâ€™m almost certain that Leyland would have lifted Avila from the game if he knew he was hurting, and I canâ€™t help but think a healthy Gerald Laird would have been better equipped to handle Octavio Dotelâ€™s wildness (one wild pitch was charged as a passed ball against Avila).
Would Mondayâ€™s game have ended differently if Avila had told someone he was hurting? Itâ€™s impossible to know for sure, and either way Avila is still probably far down the blame ladder for that one, but thereâ€™s no way it could have been worse.
We already found out that Daniel Schlereth was hiding an injury while pitching (horribly) for the big club earlier this year. Iâ€™m not going to shout and scream that thereâ€™s some sort of injury cover-up problem for the Tigers, but this isnâ€™t how professionals should act. The players need to be a man and tell someone when theyâ€™re hurt. At the very least it allows the manager to make a proper decision.
Matt Snyder is the editor of The Tigers Den. He can be reached on Twitter @snyder_matthew.