Collins (bruised knee) joins list of hobbled Tigers

Collins (bruised knee) joins list of hobbled Tigers

DETROIT -- The Tigers don't have much interest in the Royals' rally mantis. It's the injury bug that continues to haunt the club, which added outfielder Tyler Collins to its list of hobbled players during Wednesday's 4-1 loss to Kansas City.

Collins exited in the eighth inning with a bruised right knee, which was struck by a 99-mph Yordano Ventura fastball in the sixth inning. Collins stayed in the game for the seventh before being lifted for Justin Upton as a defensive replacement.

X-rays on Collins' knee were negative, manager Brad Ausmus said, and while Collins was listed as day to day, Ausmus said, "It'll probably be a few days."

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That leaves the Tigers in a roster bind. Though Collins started in left field on Wednesday, he has been Detroit's primary center fielder since Cameron Maybin sprained his left thumb two weeks ago. If Collins is out, the Tigers' only healthy center fielder would be super-utility player Andrew Romine, barring another move.

That move seemed to be in the works after the game. The Tigers optioned slugging corner outfielder Steven Moya back to Triple-A Toledo a day after calling him up. No corresponding move was announced, but outfielder Alex Presley was pulled from Triple-A Toledo's game on Wednesday night for a defensive replacement in the fifth inning, shortly after Collins left the game in Detroit.

The Tigers signed Presley to a Minor League contract on July 9 after the Brewers designated him for assignment. The seven-year Major League veteran has played all three outfield spots and has made a dozen starts in center field for the Mud Hens over the past month.

"I'm not in Toledo; I'm in Detroit," Ausmus said when asked about Moya's replacement after the game. "No corresponding move. Steven Moya was sent out, but we'll give you a corresponding move tomorrow."

Presley is not on the Tigers' 40-man roster, which would help explain the delay while the Tigers make room.

Collins joins Maybin, third baseman Nick Castellanos and shortstop Jose Iglesias as injured Tigers position players. The latter three are all on the 15-day disabled list with various timetables. First baseman Miguel Cabrera returned to the Tigers' lineup on Wednesday after leaving Monday's game with a left biceps strain, though Ausmus said it looked like the injury bothered Cabrera on swings and misses.

Pitchers Jordan Zimmermann and Mike Pelfrey are also on the 15-day DL, though both are on track to be ready for Minor League rehab assignments at some point next week if they continue to progress.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.