April 1, 2013

Injured Ortiz says heels are improving

Howie Rumberg / The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Boston designated hitter David Ortiz said he is making progress in his recovery from soreness in both heels and he hopes to play in minor league or extended spring training games next week.

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Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz jokes with reporters on the field before the Red Sox Opening Day baseball game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in New York on Monday.

AP

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Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz, left, leaves the clubhouse after meeting with trainers at spring training baseball on Sunday in Fort Myers, Fla.

AP

Ortiz is on the 15-day disabled list, but he was in New York with the Red Sox on Monday for opening day against the Yankees. He is set to go back to the club's complex in Fort Myers, Fla., to continue his rehabilitation Thursday.

"Feeling good, very good. I'm at the point right now that it's more stable than what it used to be," Ortiz said. "That's good, seems like we're moving forward."

Ortiz has been sidelined nearly all spring with heel inflammation after missing much of the second half of last season with a right Achilles tendon injury.

Boston will be fielding an opening-day lineup without Ortiz at designated hitter for the first time since 2004.

"Opening day's the one time that you want to be good to go, and be ready for the season, definitely. It's just a weird feeling," he said.

Also, manager John Farrell said the team is going through the process of filing the paperwork necessary to get infielder Stephen Drew off the seven-day concussion list and back onto the field.

Farrell said Drew is feeling well enough to play, but he can't until the team gets approval from Major League Baseball.

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