DETROIT -- The Tigers are in a wait-and-see mode on Alex Avila, who has to go 24 hours without concussion symptoms before the team's medical staff will clear him to resume baseball activities. Whenever Avila does return, they're hoping that an upgrade in headgear will keep him from a recurrence.
"He won't be using a hockey-style mask, but he will be using a heavier mask than he's using now, with a little more padding," manager Jim Leyland said.
Avila checked in at Comerica Park on Thursday for a follow-up exam with doctors. Head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said through a team spokesperson before the Tigers' 4-1 win over the Royals that there was no update on Avila's status.
"Alex felt better today. He was here and he was pretty clear," Leyland said after Thursday's game. "This is a process that is an official process that you have to go through, so there's a lot of steps to be taken yet. But he was here earlier today and felt pretty good, actually. You get to point A, then you have to go to point B, then you have to go to point C.
"This is different than other injuries. There's a whole process that you have to go through."
Avila tried the hockey-style mask in side sessions a few years ago and didn't feel comfortable with it. He has used a lightweight mask, Leyland said, but this recent issue has made sacrificing weight for protection a worthy swap.
It's a similar issue to what Royals catcher Salvador Perez just went through. He returned from the seven-day concussion DL on Sunday after taking a foul tip off his mask a week earlier. The impact of the mask reportedly jarred him, leaving his jaw sore. Perez, too, has opted against the hockey mask.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.