Avila 'rusty' but happy to be back on field

Avila 'rusty' but happy to be back on field

DETROIT -- Alex Avila returned behind the plate for the Tigers and got a break on Sunday night. With Kyle Lobstein throwing 89-90-mph fastballs, Avila had nary a foul tip to plunk him.

With Avila getting back to game speed after missing the past four games with concussion-like symptoms, it was appreciated.

"It felt great," Avila said. "[I was] a little rusty, four days off. Definitely felt anxious today, felt like I hadn't played in a while behind the plate and at the plate. It was good to get back out there, though. It's fun to play at this time of the year."

Avila struck out twice in his first 0-for-4 game since Aug. 26, but he helped rookie lefty Lobstein through 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball for his first Major League victory.

Avila had been dealing with some headaches earlier in the week, leading manager Brad Ausmus to use some precaution in bringing his catcher back. He gave Avila an extra day off Saturday with a left-hander on the mound, but brought him back for Tim Hudson.

As long as Avila doesn't have any symptoms return, he should be free to resume his regular duties. The Royals will start right-handers Jeremy Guthrie on Monday and James Shields on Wednesday, with lefty Jason Vargas pitching Tuesday in the middle game of the three-game set.

Avila already takes extra precaution whenever he does take an impact at the plate, either from a foul tip or a collision. He wears a CryoHelmet to essentially ice his head after a game. From that standpoint, nothing changes.

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