Alex Avila got platelet-rich plasma injections in left knee

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Alex Avila, who like many catchers has struggled with knee problems, got platelet-rich plasma injections in his left knee shortly after the season ended.

Platelet-rich plasma injections involve drawing blood from the arm, separating the platelets, and then re-injecting them to aid the healing process.

Avila was sidelined during the World Series with a wrist injury, but struggled with knee tendinitis throughout the season. Tony Paul of the Detroit News reports that manager Jim Leyland plans to keep a close eye on Avila’s playing time in 2013, but the Tigers “have determined surgery isn’t necessary, at least at this time” and Avila says he “feels great” right now.

New backup Brayan Pena isn’t as good a fit to platoon with the left-handed-hitting Avila as the right-handed-hitting Gerald Laird was, so Leyland may have to get creative.