Alex Avila took a beating behind the plate in the latter half of the 2014 season. The Tigers' ALDS against the Orioles left Avila with another concussion, and fans wondered if it was time for the 27-year-old veteran catcher to consider calling it quits.
Monday afternoon Avila told MLive's Chris Iott he is symptom free from the concussion and fully intends to continue playing baseball. Avila said he has no further concerns about his health at this point.
"No," he said. "I've had three mild concussions in my career. I had a CT scan and an MRI checking my brain and my neck and the arteries leading to it, and everything checks out normal and healthy. And talking with the neurologist that examined everything, I shouldn't have any concern.
"It's like any injury — you have to let it heal 100 percent."
Avila was off to a good start in 2014 and managed to stay away from most injuries for much of the season. Avila took precautions, including changing masks out with more regularity. Sooner or later the Titanium Catcher wound up sidelined repeatedly in the latter half with concussions.
A mild concussion sustained on a backswing by David Ortiz on June 6 was one of the few instances where Avila missed playing time earlier in the season. In September though, Avila suffered several setbacks, and on October 5 Avila's season ended with another concussion after taking a foul tip to the mask in Game 3.
At the time, Avila admitted the repeated pounding he takes — and the effect it can have on him — is always in the back of his mind, but it wouldn't prevent him from playing the game.
Avila recently said that unless age catches up with him or he's told he can no longer play for health reasons, he's going to keep catching.
"I'm symptom free," Avila told Iott. "I have been for a few days."
When the Tigers meet in Lakeland, Fla. next year for spring training, expect to see Avila there. He has no intentions of hanging up the glove and cleats, and anticipates he will be catching the Tigers pitching staff when spring rolls around.