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Rajai Davis optimistic he will return to the lineup soon

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Rajai Davis left Saturday's game early after straining his pelvic cartilage while running down the first base line. MRI results are negative but the Tigers aren't ready to change his status.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

DETROIT — The last thing the Tigers needed was for them to lose Rajai Davis for any length of time, whatever the reason. Davis was taken out of Saturday night's game in the second inning for what was later announced to be a grade one pubic symphysis strain and would be re-evaluated on Sunday.

Davis hit a ground ball and took off for first base, but he pulled up soon after, unable to run. The inning ended on Davis' groundout, but the focus wasn't on a lost opportunity to increase the Tigers' slim 1–0 lead at the time.

Davis was bent over with a pained expression on his face when he reached first base. Head athletic trainer Kevin Rand and manager Brad Ausmus came out to check on Davis and soon after Ausmus motioned to the dugout for a replacement.

"Don't ask me what that means. I'm not sure," Ausmus said after the game. "It's not his groin."

Ezequiel Carrera replaced Davis in centerfield and Davis walked off the field under his own power, howbeit slowly under the watchful eye of Rand. The pubic symphysis is the cartilage that holds the left and right anterior (frontal) pelvic bones together. That cartilage is what Davis strained.

After the game Ausmus said Davis was moving around "pretty well," and Davis told Ausmus he felt good, though Ausmus acknowledged that was walking around the clubhouse only, not running. Davis was also seen walking somewhat carefully outside the clubhouse after the game.

Davis has been a spark on the bases for the Tigers this season. He has 36 stolen bases, one more than the team's combined total last season. His ability to rattle a pitcher on the mound with just his presence has been invaluable to the Tigers.

With that in mind and the most important game of the season set to take place on Sunday, the Tigers may be without their fastest player in a critical must-win game against a team that has been unrelenting.

At this point Ausmus isn't sure of whether Davis will or will not be available to play in Sunday's game. The Tigers stated they will have further information on Sunday when Davis is re-evaluated in the morning.

UPDATE:

Davis underwent an MRI Saturday night and results came back negative. Davis said he feels good and hopes to return soon, anticipating he'll be ready by the potential game one of the American League Division Series, however, Rand is holding off on listing Davis as day-to-day.

Rand said the injury is rare, generally sustained when a player makes contact with a wall, causing a shift. Rand said he would have an update on Davis' ability to get a quick burst of speed later in the day.

Prior to speaking to Rand, Davis had said he didn't have it yet, but anticipated it wouldn't be long before it returned.

"Honestly, I don't really know all that stuff about it," Davis said Sunday morning. "I feel a lot better than yesterday. I feel like it's not going to be long. Not much pain. I do feel it occasionally, when I make certain movements, but I don't feel bad at all."