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TON -- David Ortiz is indeed feeling better, nearly two weeks after having a platelet-rich plasma shot for his ailing right Achilles tendon. Make no mistake about it, however. The only way you will see Ortiz take another at-bat for the Red Sox this season is if he's feeling all the way better, as if the injury never existed.
In other words, it would be a surprise at this point if Ortiz returns to action at some point over the final three weeks of the season.
"Well, yeah, I guess," said Ortiz. "Like I said, the doctors are looking forward to make sure that I don't have to worry about this anymore. You know what I'm saying? That's the goal right now, and we don't see the point of coming back and not being ready."
There is too much at stake, considering what Ortiz means to the Red Sox. He is a free agent again, and the club has made it clear they would like to retain him going forward.
That said, there's no reason for either side to risk Ortiz's future when the Red Sox are out of realistic contention for a postseason berth.
"Well, I would assume that," manager Bobby Valentine said, asked if Ortiz would be on the bench for the rest for the season. "He had the boot on again yesterday. ... As of our last conversation, he says he feels much better and the shot seems to have really worked. But I think it takes a couple of weeks for that to totally set in, so maybe he'll come out and start taking batting practice. It will be time for him to get back in the lineup, obviously, even if he felt 100 percent today."
Ortiz was clearly not 100 percent the last time he came back to the lineup. His comeback on Aug. 24 included two hits, but he lasted just one day.
Despite how much the season has unraveled for the Red Sox, Ortiz still hates not being a part of it.
"I've been struggling with it," Ortiz said. "Sitting down for this long, it's been not even fun watching baseball anymore. But it is what it is, right? I've just got to wait."
If Ortiz woke up one day and the Achilles felt perfect, he would not hesitate trying to get back into the lineup.
"To be honest with you, what I'm looking for right now is to make sure I heal up the right way," Ortiz said. "I pushed it once. It didn't work. So I'm not going to push it again. If I'm good to go, I'm good to go. If I am, I am."