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TON -- Red Sox slugger David Ortiz wasn't in the lineup on Saturday against the Royals due to soreness in his right Achilles tendon that has bothered him for over a month.
Ortiz returned on Friday after missing 35 games with a strained right Achilles. He went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a double, scorching the first two pitches he saw for hits, in a 4-3 win over Kansas City. But the slugger had a setback on Saturday.
"He's a little sore today," manager Bobby Valentine said on Saturday. "We're going to meet and evaluate his situation again. It bothered him. It wasn't as pain-free as he was hoping."
The Red Sox are in the process of determining the best course of action for Ortiz over the final 36 games of the season. Valentine left open the possibility of shutting down Ortiz for the remainder of 2012.
"If in fact that's what the medical staff and David thought was best for him this year and for his career, then that might have to happen," Valentine said. "I think what might be best for David, if he's healthy, is for him to make sure everyone knows that he's healthy for the rest of the season."
Still, general manager Ben Cherington said on Saturday that he was "not really" concerned about Ortiz "in the big picture."
"He's still got some soreness. We're not concerned that this is something that's going to inhibit him in any significant way moving forward," Cherington said. "We want to be careful and do the right thing for him because he's such an important player and we want him to be a part of what we're doing. We'll continue to work with him and be cautious and get him out there whenever he's ready and available."
Is Ortiz at risk to further injury if he continues to play?
"The medical staff has assured me, Ben and David that the rupturing of an Achilles is highly unlikely, even though it's highly unlikely for everyone and people do tear that Achilles tendon," Valentine said. "But there's some pain to deal with and if in fact, upon further review, that chance or possibility increases, we wouldn't allow it to happen."