"Yesterday I got my heart rate to 60 percent. Today it'll be 85 percent," Avila said. "As long as I continue to have no symptoms or problems, I'll keep progressing until doctors clear me to play."
Manager Jim Leyland said Avila definitely will be wearing a different mask, one with more padding and heavier bars. Avila tried a hockey mask in the past, but found it uncomfortable. While the Tigers are hoping the new mask will help Avila, that doesn't mean they're not worried about another concussion in the future.
"I'm concerned about it, because I've been suspicious for a couple of years with Alex," Leyland said. "I really talked about it a little bit with the coaches. I'm worried about him getting hit so many times. I really don't know how it happens. He gets hit more than any catcher that I've ever seen, without question, by far."
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.