Avila to start rehab stint Sunday in Toledo

Avila to start rehab stint Sunday in Toledo

DETROIT -- If Alex Avila wasn't on the 15-day disabled list, he thinks he may have been able to play in Saturday's game against the Red Sox. Unfortunately, he'll have to settle for a rehab assignment when he heads to Triple-A Toledo on Sunday.

"Swelling is down," Avila said. "A couple of days ago was the first time the swelling went down to where I was actually able to swing the bat a little bit and stuff. Each day it has gotten better and better, and today I feel as good as new."

Avila was hit by a pitch on his left forearm last week against the Twins and immediately left the game. He was placed on the DL on Monday, and the earliest he can return is July 2. He expects to return on that date, and will likely be the designated hitter for his first game or two back in the Minors before returning behind the plate.

"[I'm] very anxious. It's killing me just to watch," Avila said. "I don't like watching, especially when I haven't played in a week; for me it's felt like a month. I just want to play baseball."

After returning to baseball activities Thursday, Avila has felt some lingering soreness but he's not worried about it being a problem.

"I think that's just more that I've had four or five days off and really not doing much other than kind of working out in the gym a little bit," Avila said. "So the last couple days doing baseball activities, it was a little sore, but nothing that's a major concern."

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