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Please, do not refer to Alex Avila as having a “mild” concussion

Sep 20, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT

Alex Avila

The Tigers posted their lineup for today’s game a little while ago and Alex Avila is still not on it. Why?

Alex Avila was missing from the Tigers’ lineup for the second straight game Tuesday night and it was revealed after the Tigers’ 12-2 victory that Avila is suffering from mild concussion symptoms.

The catcher took an elbow to the side of the head from first baseman Prince Fielder during Sunday’s game against the Indians. Avila said Monday that the blow knocked him out and he remembered nothing but assistant athletic trainer Steve Carter yelling his name.

The loss of memory accompanied by the headaches he began having after taking batting practice Monday in Chicago indicated it might be a head injury rather than a sprained jaw, which was the initial diagnosis.

He should be on the DL and out for the year.  And given all we’ve learned about concussions recently, the term “mild concussion” should be out of the sportswriter’s lexicon altogether.  These are brain injuries, pure and simple, and suggesting that any injury to one’s brain is “mild” is misleading in the extreme, especially when accompanied by memory loss and unconsciousness.

  1. baseballisboring - Sep 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Walk it off.

    • baseballisboring - Sep 20, 2012 at 12:46 PM

      Just kidding…sounds really mean with no voice inflections

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 20, 2012 at 1:02 PM

        Just sprinkle some ‘tussin on it. I broke my leg once, and Daddy poured Robitussin on my bone!
        -Chris Rock

  2. natslady - Sep 20, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    Agree 100%. My father injured his skull falling off his bike when he was twelve, and six years later he was disqualified from service in the Air Force because of concerns about air pressure (he served in the Army). The recent wars have taught the medical profession that you can’t necessarily ascertain from external signs, or from immediate signs, what is the full extent of the injury. Caution is best.

  3. raysfan1 - Sep 20, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Very picky point–saying someone’s concussion symptoms are mild is not the same as saying the concussion is mild. That said, memory loss is NOT a mild symptom.

    While jaw sprains of course do happen, it should have been immediately obvious–especially with a loss of consciousness–that a concussion was also likely. Sounds like a team trying to duck the mandatory 7-days DL.

  4. kopy - Sep 20, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    I’m a big supporter of brain injury awareness, but this doesn’t really bother me. They said he had mild symptoms, not that he suffered a mild concussion. All concussions are brain injuries, but it’s nice to know that Avila is suffering from headaches and memory loss (though that doesn’t sound mild), and isn’t bed-ridden and throwing up into a bucket. Neither should be played through, but now we have a better idea of where he is in his recovery.

    • kopy - Sep 20, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      Nice as in informative. Not nice that he’s having symptoms.

  5. fusionix7 - Sep 20, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    I don’t care if he is cleared. I’ve never seen a catcher get battered by foul balls on a regular basis as often as Alex has, especially head shots. With some of the viscous shots he’s taken I’m surprised he hasn’t suffered a concussion before. Sit him a few more games. Gerald Laird is on a pretty good hitting streak (never thought I would say that). If need be Holladay is up if the Tigers need a spot start.

  6. indaburg - Sep 20, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    The term “mild” concussion is a pet peeve of mine. It’s either a concussion or not. The symptoms may appear mild but saying a concussion is “mild” belittles its seriousness.

    • toozie21 - Sep 20, 2012 at 2:56 PM

      I always think of the quote I heard years ago (don’t even recall who said it) that have a “mild” concussion is like being “kind of” pregnant

  7. utecutec - Sep 20, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    A Neuropsychologist I used to work with had a definition of a mild brain injury – A brain injury that happened to somebody else.
    Yeah, there are injuries that are more severe than others, but even the least severe are a real problem.

  8. seattletony - Sep 20, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Having had both “major” and “mild” concussions, I can say the difference is in the symptoms. I wouldn’t wish major on my worst enemy.

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