Alex Avila injury: Tigers C expects to play Saturday

Ronald Martinez

Avila left Thursday's game after a collision at home plate with David Ross.

Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila expects to play Saturday night in Game Six of the ALCS despite suffering a strained patellar tendon in his left knee on Thursday, reports T.R. Sullivan of

Avila suffered the injury in the second inning when Boston Red Sox catcher David Ross collided with Avila attempting to score from third:


Avila stayed in the game following the collision, but was replaced by Brayan Pena in the bottom of the fourth inning.

The Tigers starter talked with reporters following the game, and told Sullivan that he plans to return behind the plate despite the injury:

"Obviously, tomorrow will tell me a lot. But I've had this injury before in 2011, and I've dealt with it off and on the last three years. ... I should be all right."

Avila did not blame Ross for attempting to bowl him over, calling the collision a clean play:

"I have had a lot of big guys bowl me over. I would have done the same thing. He's trying to score a run and I'm trying to stop a run. It's not a dirty play. It's a good, hard play."

Detroit manager Jim Leyland sounded less optimistic than Avila, telling Sullivan:

"Yes, the left knee was pretty rough, pretty bad,. I'm not really sure of the significance. The knee was pretty bad. I don't want to sound like some emergency situation, because I don't know that. But we felt like the best thing to do would be to get him out of there and hopefully be ready to play two days from now in Boston."

Pena will start at catcher if Avila is unable to take the field. He served as the every day catcher during two separate stints this season when Avila went on the disabled list, batting .297/.315/.397 over 229 plate appearances.

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