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Avilan limping, but hopes to avoid trip to DL

ATLANTA -- It appeared Luis Avilan was destined for a trip to the disabled list when he fell to the ground in pain before throwing a pitch in the ninth inning of Tuesday night's 6-3 win over the Royals. But the Braves opted to delay a decision after re-evaluating the left-handed reliever before Wednesday afternoon's series finale at Turner Field.

"I hope I don't have to go to the DL, because it's better now, it's way better now," Avilan said. "Probably in two days, I'll be fine."

Avilan was walking with a very noticeable limp when he arrived at Turner Field early Wednesday morning. But he was able to get around on his own power and his mobility seemed to improve slightly after he was evaluated by the Braves' medical staff.

Avilan has been diagnosed with a slight strain and cramping in his left hamstring, but the strength he showed during some tests that were conducted Wednesday morning was encouraging.

"It feels tight, but nothing serious like yesterday," said Avilan, who has a 2.01 ERA in 36 appearances since making his Major League debut after last year's All-Star break.

The Braves will have dodged a bullet if Avilan is able to avoid a trip to the DL. Avilan's presence has helped compensate for the absence of left-handed reliever Jonny Venters, who will likely be sidelined until at least late May with a left elbow sprain.

Avilan said it felt like he "had been hit with a ball" when he stopped his delivery and fell on the mound before throwing a pitch to Billy Butler in the ninth inning Tuesday. He needed assistance to get to a golf cart that transported him to the Braves' clubhouse to be evaluated.

Members of the Braves' medical staff informed Avilan that the cramping might have been a product of him consuming a highly-caffeinated energy drink before Tuesday's game. Avilan said he will attempt to stay away from drinking Red Bull in the future.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for
Read More: Atlanta Braves, Luis Avilan, Freddie Freeman, Brian McCann, Justin Upton