LAKELAND, Fla. -- Alex Avila rejoined Tigers workouts on a limited basis Monday after two days of dealing with back spasms, but manager Brad Ausmus said they'll hold him back from the start of game action to try to avoid aggravating the injury.
Avila will not start Tuesday's Spring Training exhibition against Florida Southern. Ausmus hasn't ruled him out of Wednesday's Grapefruit League opener against the Braves, he said, "but right now, I'm leaning against it."
More likely, Ausmus said, he'll aim to get Avila behind the plate for Thursday's home game against the Braves at Joker Marchant Stadium.
"We have plenty of time to get him at-bats and innings behind the plate," Ausmus said.
Avila will be the one Tigers regular not in the starting lineup against Florida Southern. James McCann, the Tigers' top pick from the 2011 Draft, will start at catcher for that game. Unlike most of the regulars, McCann will get more than one at-bat.
Avila took batting practice and did infield work on Monday, but he did not do any catching. That meant Justin Verlander was throwing to backup Bryan Holaday for Monday's live batting practice session.