A full day of catching work, everything short of game action, has drastically changed the outlook on his strained right hamstring.
"He had a great day today, throwing, running, hitting, catching [Justin] Verlander's bullpen," manager Jim Leyland said after Saturday's 4-1 win over the Rockies.
The hitting and running were repeats of what Avila did Friday. Verlander's bullpen session was a test for how well he can handle catching duties. Avila said he had no problems in the 25-minute session, which is about as long as Verlander normally throws.
Avila will next try to do all the same activities Sunday morning, though he'll be catching someone else's side session. If that goes well, Avila said, the plan is for him to join Triple-A Toledo on a rehab assignment when the Mud Hens return home Monday.
Avila would play three games, then be re-evaluated after Wednesday.