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Avila to began rehab assignment Thursday

DETROIT -- Tigers catcher Alex Avila worked out on the field at Comerica Park and took batting practice for the second consecutive day on Wednesday afternoon. His next step will be to start a Minor League rehab assignment for Triple-A Toledo on Thursday.

Manager Jim Leyland said the team is in wait-and-see mode for how long Avila's rehab assignment will last.

"Personally, I think you don't want to forget that he hasn't played for 10 days," Leyland said. "You're thrilled to death that he's healthy, but you still can't forget that he hasn't had an at-bat in 10 days."

Avila went on the 7-day disabled list for concussion symptoms on Aug. 11, after he was initially cleared by doctors after the original injury on Aug. 8, playing in one game before symptoms resurfaced. Under Major League Baseball rules, Avila's rehab can't last more than five games.

"The No. 1 thing is to get him back here healthy," Leyland said. "But the next thing is to be productive. He hasn't seen any pitching for 10 days now. That's not easy. I'd hate to bring him into New York to face [Matt] Harvey after sitting off for 12 days."

While an official plan hasn't been set, Leyland's suggestion was to have Avila catch seven innings on Thursday and Friday before playing an entire game as the designated hitter for Toledo on Saturday.

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for
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