Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Baseball [Print without images]

Tuesday, August 23, 2011
David Ortiz ready to return

By Joe McDonald
ESPNBoston.com

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, who hasn't played since Aug. 14 because of bursitis in his right heel, will return to the lineup Wednesday night against the Texas Rangers, manager Terry Francona said.

Ortiz ran sprints for approximately five minutes Tuesday afternoon at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington under the watchful eye of head trainer Mike Reinold and reported feeling no discomfort or tenderness.

After his teammates pounded out a total of 14 hits in an 11-5 win over the Rangers on Tuesday, Ortiz was asked what he planned on doing when he returns from his hiatus.

"Go deep," Ortiz said.

Ortiz was available to pinch hit Tuesday night, according to Francona, but he wasn't needed.

Before Tuesday's game, Ortiz said he was ready to go but still needed medical clearance.

"I want to be in the lineup right now," he said. "I can't be watching this (stuff) anymore, but I've got to wait to see what the doctors say. I have to stay on top of it because this is something if you don't do exactly what they say it can catch up with you later on, so I don't want to be stupid."

Meanwhile, Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury was back in the lineup Tuesday night after missing the last three games with a bruised back. He went 1-for-4 with walk and run scored.

"He's a big part of our lineup in the middle of the order and drives in runs," Ellsbury said of Ortiz. "He's a threat, so it'll be nice to have him back."

"Jacoby being in the lineup is huge and Papi being in the lineup (Wednesday) is going to be big as well," said Adrian Gonzalez, who hit two home runs Tuesday. "The main thing is being healthy going into the playoffs. Hopefully we'll be in the playoffs if we keep winning. We just want everybody healthy."

Joe McDonald covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.