Tigers catcher Alex Avila decides against knee surgery; return timetable uncertain

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After seeking multiple opinions on his injured left knee Tigers catcher Alex Avila has decided against surgery, choosing the rest-and-rehab route instead.

Going under the knife would have knocked Avila out for at least the remainder of the first half, but there’s no guarantee he’ll be able to return before then now and it’s possible he won’t be able to return at all without eventual surgery to remove the “loose bodies” in his knee.

Avila made the All-Star team as a 24-year-old in 2011, but since then he’s hit just .228 with a .703 OPS in 364 games and his OPS has dropped in four straight seasons. James McCann will serve as the Tigers’ primary catcher in Avila’s absence.