- Joe McDonald, Reporter, ESPNBoston.com
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BOSTON -- While it’s assumed that David Ortiz will not play again this season because of a recurring right Achilles strain, the veteran designated hitter for the Boston Red Sox is still holding out hope that he could return.
If and when that happens, he wants to be absolutely positive that he’s 100 percent healthy before he steps back onto the field. Ortiz originally suffered the injury on July 16 and missed a total of 35 games before he was activated on Aug. 24, but was limited to one game.
Ortiz was placed on the DL again on Aug. 25 and even Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine believes Ortiz’s season is over.
“I would assume that,” Valentine said.
Ortiz has been wearing a removable boot again and will be able to shed it on Tuesday. He’ll start treatment again, and how sensitive the heel is will dictate the process moving forward.
“We’ll see,” Ortiz said. “We’ll see how it goes and it depends on what the doctors say and how I’m feeling. Right now we’re just focused on if I’m doing the right thing.
“To be honest with you, what I’m looking for right now is to make sure I heal up the right way,” he said. “I pushed it once, it didn’t work, so I’m not going to push it again. If I’m good to go, I’m good to go.”
Ortiz has prepared himself for the fact that his season could be over.
“Yeah, I guess, like I said, the doctors are looking forward to make sure I don’t have to worry about this anymore,” he said. “That’s the goal right now and we don’t see the point of coming back when I’m not ready yet.
“I don’t want to have another setback,” he said. “I want to make sure I resolve this problem. The last time I had a setback, I basically asked them, ‘Do I need surgery for this?’ They told me no, I didn’t need surgery. So, OK, let’s fix this and I don’t have to worry about it. I’m pretty sure our doctors will do whatever it takes to get me to where I want to be and I think we are on our way right now. I’m feeling good after the (platelet-rich plasma injection).”
The only thing that will allow Ortiz to return to 100 percent is rest and treatment. He said he’s already felt a difference since receiving the injection.
“This whole PRP thing is a process,” Ortiz explained. “It’s not just doing it, waking up and going out and [playing]. After that it’s how it’s feeling and what the next step is going to be. We just need to make sure that everything is in the right way.”
During his absence, the Red Sox are 16-33. And he hasn’t enjoyed watching from the dugout or from his couch at home.
“I’ve been struggling sitting down for this long and watching baseball,” Ortiz said. “This hasn’t been fun, watching baseball for this long. But it is what it is, right? Just got to wait.”
Once the season ends, Ortiz will become a free agent. He’s made it no secret that he wants a long-term contract in order to retire in Boston, and he hopes that if he does finish the season the DL that it won’t affect negotiations.
“I don’t know,” he said. “If they’re going to sign you, they want to make sure that you are healthy. Everybody knows that, it’s not a secret. But on the other hand, I think it’ll be fine.”
46mRandy Jennings, Special to ESPN.com
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