David Ortiz has MRI to be safe

Updated: March 9, 2013, 10:15 PM ET
By Rick Weber | Special to ESPNBoston.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz underwent an MRI on both heels Saturday to rule out any complications as he recovers from an injury to his right Achilles tendon.

"That's where he's been feeling discomfort," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "It's been overall in both heels."

Farrell said he wasn't sure if the discomfort has resulted from a different running style developed to compensate for the pain Ortiz has felt in his right Achilles.

"I don't think he's gotten to the point where he's subconsciously favoring anything," Farrell said.

Results were expected Saturday night, but after his team's 5-2 spring training victory over the Orioles, Farrell said the Sox were still trying to get images to a radiologist in Boston for a definitive reading.

"There's nothing even preliminary now," he said.

Farrell said Ortiz's MRI will be compared to the one taken four months ago and others taken in 2011 and 2012, and was done "more than anything to just answer any questions David might have with what he's feeling."

Asked if Ortiz's happy face masked concern he might be feeling, Farrell said: "You mean the happy face isn't a real one? I don't know how we can measure degrees of a smile. But the one thing is, he recognizes he's frustrated. I think he expected this to move along at a more rapid pace. But we support him and we're going to do whatever we can to get him on the field and get him the greatest number of at-bats."

Farrell said there has been progress, even if it doesn't seem like it.

"It's not like April 1 [Opening Day] is a drop-dead date for an entire season," he said. "So we're not going to rush and make any decision where we say, 'You know what? Opening Day is out.' "

Ortiz first injured the heel last July and missed all but one game of the remainder of the 2012 season.

Reacting to speculation that outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. might be on the Opening Day roster if Ortiz is placed on the disabled list, Farrell said: "I can't sit here today and say that's not an option that couldn't be discussed. Keep in mind, we fully expect Jackie to begin the season in the minor leagues."

Rick Weber is a contributor to ESPNBoston.com.

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