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Avila bothered by back spasms, available as PH

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CHICAGO -- For the second straight game, Tigers catcher Alex Avila was not behind the plate Tuesday. This time, however, it's not the bruised shin that forced him out over the weekend in Minnesota, but the back spasms that date back to Spring Training.

Avila experienced a recurrence of the back spasms on Tuesday, and was scratched from the lineup for the series opener against the White Sox. Bryan Holaday started behind the plate in his place.

Avila was available off the bench if needed, manager Brad Ausmus said, but not available to catch. He's considered day to day.

"He's not going to play [Wednesday] regardless," Ausmus said after Tuesday's 4-3 victory. "We've got the off-day on Thursday, so I think giving him the two days will be better. As long as he's fine, he'll be back in there on Friday.

he history of Avila's back gives his day-to-day status some level of concern. He missed some time early in Spring Training with lower back issues, but returned early in the Grapefruit League schedule and caught his fair share of games. This is the first time his lower back has been a topic since then, though it's unclear whether it has flared up since.

Avila bruised his shin sliding into home plate Friday at Minnesota, eventually leaving the game. He did not start Saturday, but entered the game as a pinch-hitter.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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