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Ortiz readies for first extended spring game

TORONTO -- Though it is only an extended spring training game, Monday will be a significant day for Red Sox slugger David Ortiz. That contest in Fort Myers, Fla., will mark the first time the designated hitter has played in any type of game since Aug. 24 of last season.

Ortiz suffered a right Achilles tendon injury on July 20, 2012, and played just one game the remainder of the season. He had some inflammation in his heel during Spring Training, which prevented him from starting the season with the Red Sox.

"Very good day yesterday," Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He ran the bases, took swings in the cage, tracked Franklin Morales' sim game, had an additional six rounds of BP on the field. That was a full work day yesterday and that puts him in line for live at-bats tomorrow in an extended spring training game."

While Ortiz's daily symptoms will be the deciding factor for his timetable to return, the tentative plan is that he will play in three extended spring games. That would put the left-handed slugger on track to start a Minor League rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket as early as Thursday.

He could join the Red Sox a week or so after that.

Ian Browne is a reporter for Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne.
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