Alex Avila took quite a hit in a home plate collision with Red Sox catcher David Ross as Avila blocked the plate in the second inning of ALCS Game 5 action Thursday. Avila held on for the out, but came out of the game two innings later with a left knee sprain. He's no sure thing to play in Game 6 Saturday, but the good news is that he thinks he'll be able to take the field at Fenway Park along with his teammates.
Here's how the injury looked:
You can see the leg twist a bit awkwardly, though fortunately not in a manner that would have put an immediate end to his season.
"My foot just got stuck there and kind of twisted weird or hyper-extended weird and strained that tendon," Avila said, via the Detroit News.
For what it's worth, Avila doesn't think it's a dirty play. He said he'd have done the same thing in Ross' position.
"I've had a lot of big guys hit me," he said, via the News. "That's part of the game; they're doing everything they can to get a run and I'm doing everything I can to stop it."
The Tigers dropped the game, 4-3, and will now head back to Boston for one, and possibly two, games to conclude the series. Whether Avila plays remains a question, though not to Avila himself. He's said to be day-to-day by the team, and Avila himself says he'll know more today. "(Friday) obviously will tell me a lot but I had this injury before in 2011 and I have dealt with it on and off the last three years, so I'm familiar with it," he said. (per the News).
During an interview on Fox Sports Detroit after the game, Avila said he'll probably take a few painkillers and will be ready to play on Saturday.
So we'll just have to wait to see how that goes.