David Ortiz was extremely optimistic regarding his injured right Achilles tendon after conducting baserunning drills Monday, saying once again that he is targeting playing on Opening Day.
“It was a good day,” Ortiz told reporters in Fort Myers. “I was moving pretty good. I don’t think I can run faster than that. Let’s just see how things go later on tonight.
“Actally, I was running like I wasn’t worried about anything. That’s important. I can today better than the last time I ran. Everybody was pretty happy about it. I’m happy about it because nothing bothers me when I was running. That’s a plus. That is telling me that I’m going in the right direction, you know what I’m saying?”
There ere some initial concerns after Ortiz postponed his scheduled baserunning exercises Sunday due to soreness. But the designated hitter was told by the team’s medical staff that the discomfort was natural, and part of the recovery process.
“To be honest with you, I did it all today and nothing gave me a hard time, which is fine,” he said. “Dan [Dyrek], our therapist, he tells me the soreness I’m getting is from things that are starting to break down, things that weren’t functioning because I wasn’t running for like six months. It’s like when you go to the gym the first time, the next day you’re going to be sore all over the place because you haven’t been working out, so that’s pretty much what happens to injuries in your shoulders, arms, knees. Once you start functioning and do all the activities you’re supposed to, you’re definitely going to get sore and you have to get used to it. Hopefully, that’s the case. I think I ran today better than I normally do.”
Ortiz is planning on running again Tuesday, with the consecutive days of baserunning being a big step toward being cleared to play in spring training games
Red Sox manager John Farrell said he was hopeful Ortiz might be game-ready by the end of the week.
“After a day like this I know I’m going to get sore,” Ortiz said. “I’m definitely going to get sore at some point today. But I want to see what kind of soreness I’m getting and then that’s when I call [Dyrek] the next day, in the morning. We communicate and then they tell me we’re going to do this today. We’re either going to shut it down or do some slow running. The thing is they don’t want to create more pain on top of the pain.”
Some other Ortiz observations:
On wanting to play before Opening Day
“Oh, I want to play way before that, you know what I’m saying. Of course, that’s why we’re doing all this stuff so I’m good to go for Opening Day. The main goal right now is to make sure I get to play down here. If I play down here, that means I’m good to go, you know what I’m saying?”
On being smart regarding the injury
“I can tell you what, if this would happen to me 10, 12 years ago, I wouldn’t have been as smart as I am right now, as wanting to be playing and wanting to be out there. I was younger, I had injuries and I pretty much hide them just because I want to be on the field. Sometimes I got away with it. Sometimes it would give me a little bit of payback later on. Now I’m old enough to be smart about things and have that good communication. Instead of going back, keep on moving forward so when it comes down to this, I have been extremely honest so everybody is on the same page. I want to play. You guys know that when I’m good to go, I’m good to go. I don’t have no excuses. I like to be out there. I know this ballclub needs me and I want to be out there performing and doing what I’m supposed to do. At the same time, I don’t want to be out there for one game and then have to go on the DL for another two, three weeks. When I want to go in, I want to play 162 games. The soreness situation, we’re trying to manage right now, I’m trying to learn that part of it so if it happens during the season, I know how to manage it. If I need a day off, I’ll talk to the manager about it. If I’m good to go, I’m good to go. That’s the one thing, I don’t really like days off during the season. Even the day off that we normally get, I hate because the following day you come to the field and you feel like you haven’t played baseball in a month. That’s the way I see it, I don’t know how anybody else sees it. I like to go out and that’s what we’re looking for now, trying to let them know how everything is going.”
On wanting to get back on the field
“A lot. I can’t tell you. I haven’t played since when? The two at-bats I got in August, the one game I played, but I was out like a month before that. It’s something that gets in your head a little bit and I’m not going to lie to you, by December or January, I was still very uncomfortable with the way I was feeling. I’m not a doctor. I’m just a patient. The doctor has more patience than what you have as a patient. Everything pretty much has been moving toward the things that they told me, which is fine. That’s why I’ve been able to control my emotions. I can’t wait to be in action.”
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