DETROIT -- Tigers catcher Alex Avila left Game 5 of the ALCS in the fourth inning on Thursday with a patellar tendon strain in his left knee, the Tigers announced. He suffered the injury after being run over at the plate by Red Sox catcher David Ross.
"I respect the guy a lot. I was just trying to make something happen. I hope he's okay," said Ross following Game 5.
"It was a good hard play," said Avila. He added that this injury is similar to the knee problem that sidelined him for a few days back in 2011. Avila expects to play in Game 6 on Saturday but will have to see how he feels on Friday first.
It appeared Avila may have left the game due to a concussion after the collision and taking a pitch off the face mask in the third inning, but said the knee was the only reason he exited the game. The 26-year-old missed a little more than two weeks with a concussion back in August after taking a foul tip to the facemask.
In 102 games this season, Avila hit .227/.317/.376 (87 OPS+) with 11 home runs. He has been one of the team's very best players in the ALCS, going 3-for-11 (.273) with a homer and more walks (four) than strikeouts (three).
Backup catcher Brayan Pena took over behind the plate.