PHILADELPHIA -- David Ortiz had the cast removed from his left wrist on Monday and replaced by a removable splint, an encouraging sign for Boston's slugger.
Ortiz suffered a partial tear of the sheath that surrounds his tendon while swinging during a game against Baltimore on May 31. He went on the disabled list a few days later for the first time since he joined the Red Sox before the 2003 season.
At the time of the injury, Boston manager Terry Francona said surgery was "very unlikely." An operation probably would've ended Ortiz's season.
"They weren't going to [remove the cast] until he was pain free," Francona said before the Red Sox played the Phillies. "I think that's a real good sign.
"Once he gets that removable splint, he can take that thing off, he can do his work. He can do range of motion. That's great. I don't think they would really take him out of the cast and keep him out of the cast unless he is pain free."
Ortiz had a team-high 13 homers and 43 RBIs when he got hurt.
In other injury news, left fielder Manny Ramirez returned to the lineup after sitting out two games with a sore hamstring. But first baseman Kevin Youkilis didn't start because of muscle spasms in the middle of his back and starting pitcher Bartolo Colon left after five innings because of stiffness in his back.
Colon allowed four runs and six hits before exiting. Sean Casey filled in after Youkilis was scratched less than an hour before gametime.
Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed two runs and three hits over five innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday night, his first game action since straining his rotator cuff last month.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.