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Step forward for Ortiz, but still not ready

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  August 2, 2012 05:36 PM

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David Ortiz performed agility drills before Thursday's game. (John Tlumacki/Globe Staff)

David Ortiz, who is on the disabled list with a strained right Achilles tendon, took batting practice on the field this afternoon and then did some agility drills under the supervision of physical therapist Dan Dyrek, a team consultant.

Ortiz moved laterally, did some exaggerated steps and also some quicker steps before jogging back and forth in a straight line in right field.

Over the weekend, when the Red Sox were in New York, Ortiz was unable to get through those drills. So progress is being made.

"I feel better. The guys were a little surprised with how I was moving compared when we tried in New York," Ortiz said. "New York was absolutely very bad. I just take a couple of steps and I couldn't even walk through without limping."

Ortiz estimated he was running at 50-60 percent of his usual speed.

"I'm not going to be 100 percent when I come back to play, but when we start doing the power [running] drills and I start feeling better, I think I'll be ready to go," he said.

Ortiz has found the treatment to be a series of stops and starts. The treatment, in some cases, left him limping then led to improvement 48 hours later. NESN analyst Matt Stairs, who as a player had the same injury, talked to Ortiz about what to expect.

"It's improving," Ortiz said. "As I work out and do different things, the following day I feel a little sore. But it's part of the process from what they say. [Wednesday] when I came in, I felt really good. Then we take the treatment to another level and today I came a little sore. But today we take the treatment to another level, a level that I thought I wasn't going to be able to do. It feels good, though. I'm improving."

Ortiz said the last hurdle before being activated will be running at full speed, or close enough to it. He estimated that would be in another three or four days. He has not ruled out playing at some point this weekend.

"If I can handle it for a couple of days, probably they might give me the green light. But we have to get there first," Ortiz said.

Ortiz said he was frustrated with the setback in New York. But he has learned that his particular injury requires patience to avoid a setback.

"This is something, it's not a game," he said. "I started learning about that injury. It's an injury that can put you out for a long time if you don't take care of it."

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