Tiger Davis confident of quick recovery; Carrera starts

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Detroit – Given the circumstances, there was a calm about Rajai Davis Sunday morning that seemed to come from a deeper, or perhaps, higher place.

"I believe God is going to heal me," he said. "That's just what I believe. I believe he is my creator and he's going to do marvelous things."

Until then, Davis will be treated and monitored over the next couple of days to determine how quickly he will be able to recover from the Grade 1 sprain of the pubic symphysis ligament sustained in the second inning Saturday night.

"Honestly, I don't really know," Davis said about how soon he might be ready to play. "It feels a lot better than yesterday. I feel like it's not going to be long."

The injury, which is in the joint in the middle of the pubis bone and connects the right and left pubic bones, is especially debilitating to a player like Davis, who relies on explosive movements and speed. That alone makes his recovery problematic and hard to time-table.

"It's something that's odd," said head athletic trainer Kevin Rand. "He felt a kind of a shift when he came out of the box, a shift in the pubic area. We had to differentiate whether it was that or it was rectus abdominis (abdominal strain). ... I am very encouraged by the fact that he feels good today."

The abdominal injury would have been more severe, Rand said. But he can't yet declare Davis to be day-to-day until he can assess his activity level. Those tests were supposed to begin before the game.

"There's not much pain," Davis said. "But I can feel it occasionally when I make certain movements."

He said he expected to be ready by Thursday if he Tigers made it to the ALDS.

In the meantime, manager Brad Ausmus opted to start Ezequiel Carrera in center field instead of Don Kelly or Tyler Collins.

"I just feel like (Carrera) has swung the bat well the last few games that he's played," Ausmus said. "He has a tick more speed at the bottom of the lineup the way Rajai does."

Ausmus also said that of the three, Carrera was the best defensive center fielder.

"I am sorry for Davis," said Carrera, whose English is limited. "But I am a confident player. Today is a great opportunity for the team and I want to help the team. I am glad the manager has confidence in me.

"I am ready for the game. I am ready for the postseason."