LAKELAND, Fla. -- The good news on Avisail Garcia is that X-rays taken Saturday on his right heel came back negative, confirming nothing more than a bruise. The bad news, certainly for his chances of making this team out of camp, is that the right heel bruise will sideline him until further notice, according to head athletic trainer Kevin Rand.
"He'll be treatment-only until he's asymptomatic," Rand said.
Garcia suffered the injury lunging at first base trying to beat out an infield grounder Saturday against the Cardinals and left the game. It was a play that manager Jim Leyland criticized on Saturday, but tried to explain on Sunday. He didn't want to discourage the hustle, but definitely the decision.
"I think that he thought that was his best way to get on base for us, so I agree with that," Leyland said. "That can happen when you're playing hard, but it's not a smart play."
Garcia was moving around the clubhouse in a walking boot and on crutches Sunday morning and said he couldn't put weight on his foot.
At this point, Rand said, Garcia is more than day to day.
The Tigers open the season in Minnesota in 15 days. Garcia's chances of making the team already were shaky considering team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski's quote earlier this spring that Garcia and Nick Castellanos were unlikely to make the team unless they were projected to get enough at-bats to not stunt their growth.
Now, the realistic question might be whether Garcia is ready to play anywhere when the season begins, or he opens the season on the disabled list before heading to Toledo on a rehab assignment.
"I think he was or is definitely in the mix," Leyland said. "But it goes back to what we talked about before -- what's going to be the best for him, or what's going to be the best for the club? I don't know whether he's going to be on the club, but I'm crazy about him. He's got it all.
"His last hurdle is, like everybody else is normally, how much do you hit? I mean, there's no question he can play defense, run, do all that stuff in the big leagues right now. I'm thrilled about him. I really like him a lot. ... He's one of the guys I just enjoy watching him play. If I was a fan, I'd enjoy watching him play."