FORT MYERS, Fla. — David Ortiz did not hit Monday, as was originally planned, instead just continuing to participate in the treatment program implemented to help alleviate the inflammation in his right heel.
“I’m not going to do things until I feel it’s the right thing to do,” he said. “I’m feeling better, though.”
Ortiz said there is no timetable for when he will begin baseball activities, pointing to the lessons learned when suffering what he identified as two setbacks. The first came, he said, when playing in the one game in August, and the other being his latest step back in spring training.
“I haven’t been able to play and do what I’m supposed to do. It’s not fun,” he said, standing in soaking wet clothes after having run in the pool. “Just trying to deal with it. The setback is what pretty much frustrates me the most because you think you’re doing the right thing to get better. It’s like walking backwards. That’s the part of this game I don’t like. We’re approaching it different and hopefully we get to the point we don’t have to worry about it anymore.
“That’s the one thing I’m trying to avoid, just coming back and not being able to stay in the lineup the way everybody expects me to be. That’s why I’m going to approach it depending on how I feel. I’m going to try and be smart about it because when I go back in … Setbacks are very frustrating, and I’ve always had one. I’ve had two, by the way. The one time I tried to get back in August and this one now in spring training. It’s not fun.”
Regarding returning on Aug. 14 of last season, Ortiz said he didn’t regret coming back for the game, but admit that the appearance led to pain he hadn’t felt since originally injuring the Achilles a month before.
The good news, according to Ortiz, continues to be the health of his right Achilles, which was confirmed by his most recent MRI.
“The pain I used to feel is not there anymore,” he explained. “The MRI talked about it. You can see the difference between the one I had at the beginning when I first got injured and the one I have now. It seems like somebody wants to give me a new Achilles. That’s what it seems like. It’s dark, very nice.”
Asked if it seemed like an odd spring training, having not played in a game, Ortiz responded, “Seems like it. This is something time and doing the right thing it will be fine. Like you guys know, we had that MRI and the only thing going on down there is the inflammation. My Achilles is fine. Nothing else you have to worry about. But inflammation causes you pain. Just waiting for the inflammation to go away and we’ll be good to go.”
Ortiz has been so isolated due to treatment, he said he hasn’t even gotten a good look at one of the camp’s stars thus far, Jackie Bradley Jr. When asked if he thought the outfielder should make the team, the DH asked what Bradley Jr. was hitting. When told close to .500, Ortiz seemed to make up his mind.
“Oh yeah. If he’s hitting .500, yes,” he said. “I heard he’s a really good player. I haven’t been able to really watch him because they keep me indoors doing a whole bunch of things. I heard he has skills. Never know.”
Asked what he was doing at Bradley Jr.’s age (22), Ortiz said, “Hitting bombs in the big leagues.”
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