David Ortiz Likely to Return to Disabled List, Says He Still Wants to Play Despite Red Sox’ Spot in Standings

David Ortiz Likely to Return to Disabled List, Says He Still Wants to Play Despite Red Sox' Spot in StandingsBOSTON — David Ortiz's season is hanging in the balance.

After rehabbing aggressively to return to the Red Sox, the
designated hitter is still feeling soreness in his Achilles. At this point in
the season, the team wants to protect Ortiz's long-term future — meaning the Red Sox are thinking about shutting him down for the year.

"We're talking
about it because I just can't really play like this," Ortiz said. "I
don't want to be thinking about my foot while I'm facing the opposition, which
is what happened to me after I hit that double the other night. My last two
at-bats, instead of just focusing on seeing the ball and hitting, I'm thinking
about how much is it going to react once I take off running."

Ortiz re-aggravated
his injury in Friday's game, when he ripped a double and sprinted to
second base. He's been out of the Red Sox lineup since, missing two
games.

To prevent Ortiz
from rupturing the tendon — or simply making matters worse — Red Sox manager
Bobby Valentine said the team could put Ortiz back on the disabled list Monday.

"I don't have
further word. … Tomorrow we'll figure out where we're going with that,"
Valentine said. "It's likely, if he doesn't have a real miraculous
recovery tonight, [we'll] have a DL situation tomorrow."

Valentine noted the difference between Ortiz's practice sessions and the game
day atmosphere was "a little level of adrenaline." The
36-year-old slugger wanted everyone to know that Boston's place in the league standings has
no bearing on his decision.

Playoffs or not,
Ortiz reiterated that he's a competitor.

"I like to play," Ortiz said.
"When I'm good I like to play, no matter what the situation is. You guys know
that. You guys have been watching me for years. It's not the first time we are
out of contention, and me shutting it down for any particular reason — I like
to play. I like to be on the field.

"I know the fans like to come and watch
me play, so it's our job when we are healthy to be on the field, no question.
Like I said, there's nothing I'd like to do more than be on the field. I enjoy
that, but got to be healthy for that."

At 36, he has to be more cautious than ever.

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