David Ortiz will be the first person to tell you he isn’t 100 percent. Fortunately for the Red Sox, there are still almost two months before Opening Day, and the eight-time All-Star fully expects to step into the batters’ box when the 2013 season gets under way.
“I’m not completely recovered, but I’m going to be ready to go for Opening Day,” Ortiz reportedly told WEEI.com on Wednesday.
The slugger was limited to 90 games in 2012 as a result of a right Achilles tendon injury he suffered while rounding the bases on July 17. Ortiz returned for one game later in the year on Aug. 24, but he quickly went back on the disabled list and missed the remainder of Boston’s disappointing season.
The Red Sox clearly understand the importance of having Ortiz in the lineup, and inked him to a two-year deal earlier this offseason. The 37-year-old may have been hampered by the injury last year, but he still hit .318 with 23 home runs and 60 RBIs in 324 at-bats.
Ortiz is surely hoping to continue his high level of play, but he knows he can’t afford to rush things in spring training and thus risk missing time during the year.
“Yeah, but it all depends what the doctors say,” Ortiz reportedly said when asked about easing into spring training. “They say I’m going to have my days I’m not going to feel that well. I haven’t had those yet, but I haven’t started the hard stuff. But the one thing I can tell you is I’m able to do the agility drills without any pain, which I wasn’t able to do before, so that’s a good thing. When I was injured those used to cause me a lot of pain, and I don’t have any pain when I do them now.”
Ortiz, who made it clear that “everything is good,” hopes to participate in the Red Sox’ spring training games when they kick off on Feb. 21.