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Sunday, August 26, 2012
Big Papi: I want to be 100 percent

By Joe McDonald
ESPNBoston.com

BOSTON -- Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz appears headed back to the disabled list only days after being activated, and the Boston slugger could be shut down for the remainder of the season due to a lingering right Achilles strain.

Prior to Sunday's 8-6 victory over the Kansas City Royals, Ortiz said he expected a decision on whether he would go on the DL and call it a season to be made by the end of the game, but he did not have a definitive update, saying the situation likely will be finalized Monday.

"Right now all I'm trying to do is focus on getting better and make sure I'm ready to go next season," Ortiz said after the game.

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, general manager Ben Cherington and Ortiz met Saturday night and will talk again on Monday.

"I don't have further word," Valentine said after Sunday's game. "I discussed with Ben some of the possibilities. I haven't talked with David yet. But tomorrow we'll probably figure out where we're going with that. It's likely if he doesn't have a real miraculous recovery tonight we'll have a DL situation tomorrow."

Valentine said a DL stint wouldn't necessarily mean Ortiz's season is over.

"He might be able to come back," Valentine said. "I'm not sure what the treatment will be and I'm not sure about any recovery process. David wants to be with this team and he wants to continue what he's done all year and that's be a major contributor."

Ortiz missed 35 games after he was placed on the DL on July 17 with the injury. The Red Sox went 13-22 during his absence. He was activated on Friday and went 2 for 4, including a double and two RBIs, but was sore after the double and did not play Saturday night or Sunday.

"We're talking about (shutting it down for the season) because I can't really play like this," Ortiz said before Sunday's game. "I don't want to be thinking about my foot while I'm facing the opposition, which is what happened to me after I hit that double (Friday night).

"My last two at-bats -- instead of focusing on seeing the ball and hitting it -- I'm thinking about how my foot is going to react once I take off running," Ortiz added, referring to two strikeouts.

"I just want to make sure I'm 100 percent," Ortiz said. "If I'm good, I'm good. I love being on the field and doing my thing, but you've got to be ready for that."

"We're definitely not going to do anything to jeopardize David's career," Valentine said. "David totally wants to do everything he can to be part of this team this year and in the future. So that's what we're dealing with."

Before his injury, Ortiz was having his best season in years, hitting .318 with 23 home runs, 60 RBIs and a 1.026 OPS.

Asked if the Red Sox falling out of contention is a factor in his decision, Ortiz said: "I don't really care about that. I want to play. When I'm good, I like to play no matter what the situation is. It's not the first time we're out of contention and I'm not shutting it down for any particular reason. I like to play. I like to be on the field.

"I know the fans like to come and watch me play. It's our job, when we're healthy, to be on the field -- no question. There's nothing else I'd like to do more than be on the field. I enjoy that, but you've got to be healthy for that."

Tony Lee, a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com, provided information for this report.