ST. PETERSBURG -- Indians catcher Lou Marson was feeling better Sunday after sustaining a cervical (neck) strain in a home-plate collision with Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings on Saturday night.
Jennings ran over Marson in the third inning of the Tribe's 6-0 loss at Tropicana Field, though Marson held on to the ball to record the out and save Cleveland a run. Marson remained in for the rest of the third but came out after that and underwent several tests, including at least two concussion tests. He reported back to the Trop on Sunday morning feeling "fine" but still "just a little sore."
"If they need me, I could play," Marson said. "The more I move around, I'll loosen up and feel better."
Indians manager Terry Francona said the Indians' medical staff monitored Marson during Saturday's game, afterward and again Sunday morning, and they would check on his availability again after he ran and threw during pregame warmups. Carlos Santana was back behind the dish for Sunday's series finale, meaning Marson would only come in as a late-inning substitution or injury replacement anyway.
"He's doing great for taking that kind of a hit. Now we just have to see where he is as far as being able to play in a game," Francona said. "If he's not able to do [these pregame warmups], then he has no business going into a game. We just want to make sure we do it right."
Francona said the Tribe didn't want or need to put Marson on the disabled list, but they have been discussing their possible backup options in case something happens to Santana. Ryan Raburn is the club's emergency backup catcher. Marson, for his part, appreciated Francona's cautious approach to an injury that initially looked like it could have been more serious.
"They didn't want to mess around with something, get hit with a foul tip, get hurt. It's early in the year," Marson said. "Especially now with all the concussion stuff going on, I think it's good for like younger kids, things like that -- don't mess around with head injuries and things like that. It's probably a smart thing to do."
Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.