Aviles takes cautious route returning from concussion

Aviles takes cautious route returning from concussion

CLEVELAND -- The Indians have taken a slow approach with Mike Aviles' return from a mild concussion, but the veteran utility man appears nearly ready to resume playing in games.

On Tuesday, Aviles was scheduled to take part in normal pregame workout activities with the exception of hitting on the field, according to Indians manager Terry Francona. The manager noted that Aviles has advanced to hitting in the batting cage, along with other baseball drills.

"He's doing much better," Francona said. "If you see him now, he looks like night and day. He feels it. He's starting to get antsy. He's pushing the trainers. That's all good signs. He was kind of cloudy there for a few days, man. It's what a concussion does."

Aviles began experiencing concussion-like symptoms in the days following a diving catch in the first inning of Cleveland's game against the Tigers on Sept. 1. Aviles hit his head on the ground while attempting to reel in a fly ball from Ian Kinsler, and remained in the game for three innings before leaving with the injury.

While Aviles has not been on Major League Baseball's seven-day concussion list, he has followed the league's standard protocol for returning to baseball activities and games. If Aviles continues to pass the daily tests, Francona said he might be ready to return to games by Thursday or Friday.

In 97 games this season, Aviles has hit .245 with five home runs and 33 RBIs for the Indians.

"I wish they would've had all these concussion things back when I was concussed," said Francona, who noted he sustained four or five during his playing days. "[They'd just tell me], 'Suck it up. You'll be all right.' I don't think they saw 'manager' in my future."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.