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Injury updates: Morales, Drew and Ortiz

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  March 15, 2013 12:05 PM

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SARASOTA, Fla. — Here are some injury updates:

• Lefthanded reliever Franklin Morales has a bulging disc in his lower back and received an epidural injection on Wednesday during a trip to Boston, Red Sox manager John Farrell said.

“It was clear that he needed to receive the injection,” Farrell said.

Morales is feeling less pain and will soon start to work out, although not on the field. There is not yet a day scheduled for Morales to start throwing again.

How long could Morales be out?

“Hard to project right now,” Farrell said.

• Shortstop Stephen Drew, who was hit in the helmet by a pitch on March 7, is still dealing with concussion symptoms. He was scheduled for more physical testing today.

“What we will do is get him on a bike, increase the heart rate, see if those symptoms reproduce or do they become even that much more severe? Then find out what kind of recovery time he’s going to need inside of multiple sets of that,” Farrell said.

Farrell said Drew is feeling some improvement but still is bothered by loud noises and quick movements.

"It's almost like the vision takes a little bit of time to catch back up. So there's a little bit of delay there. Those are all classic symptoms of concussions," Farrell said.

Drew has not played in eight days. How concerned is Farrell about when he could play again?

“Time down is not good,” the manager said. “Probably better answer that question based on how much time he will miss. We still feel like there’s going to be a few yet before he’s going to get back on the field.”

Farrell said Drew could need a few days to get back in game shape before he plays in a game.

“It’s still too early to tell all that,” Farrell said.

• Designated hitter David Ortiz, who was shut down on Sunday because of inflammation in his heels, has responded favorably to medication, rest and treatment.

Farrell is optimistic that Ortiz could take batting practice on Monday. From there, Ortiz would graduate to running again, but that has not been planned.

Ortiz did not receive any injections, Farrell said.

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