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Alex Avila Injury: Tigers Catcher Not Yet Cleared To Return To Lineup

Originally hopeful to rejoin his teammates on Tuesday for their key series with Oakland, Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila was not medically cleared to play and will remain out of the lineup as reported by James Schmel of MLive.com.

Avila left Sunday's game after a scary collision with teammate Prince Fielder, and gave way to backup Gerald Laird behind the plate as expected for Monday's pivotal showdown with the Chicago White Sox. Detroit manager Jim Leyland came to work on Tuesday fully ready to pencil his No. 1 catcher back into the lineup, and was a bit surprised to find out he wouldn't be able to.

"I planned on playing Alex today, but I got here and found out he was not available," Leyland said. "That’s OK. It’s obvious you play Laird."

The Tigers don't plan to recall another catcher in the meantime, and continue to list Avila as day-to-day with a sprained jaw. MLive.com did mention that Avila developed a headache during a Monday batting practice session, but the 25-year-old All-Star managed to fully pass a concussion test shortly after the collision.

With the American League Central threatening to slip away at the moment, the Tigers will certainly need to hope that Avila's injury isn't too serious heading into the final stretch of the season.

Head over to Bless You Boys for more on the Tigers, and be sure to check out Baseball Nation for more news and analysis from around the majors.