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David Ortiz could return to the Red Sox by the middle of this month

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  April 3, 2013 05:47 PM

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NEW YORK Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz will travel back to Fort Myers, Fla., on Thursday and is tentatively scheduled to play in an extended spring training game on Monday at Fenway South

Manger John Farrell said Ortiz could return to the Sox by the middle of this month.

Ortiz missed most of spring training while recovering from a right Achilles' tendon injury suffered last July, and started the season on the disabled list. But he has made rapid progress in the last week.

The question now is how much game action Ortiz would need before he can rejoin the Red Sox.

"In talking with David, I think he'd feel comfortable with 25-30 at-bats, likely to be taken place at [Triple A] Pawtucket. When that rehab assignment begins remains to be seen,"
Farrell said.

It's uncertain how much time Ortiz will need in extended spring training before he starts his rehabilitation assignment with Pawtucket.

"We're going to gauge that on him and when he's ready to take that next progressive step," Farrell said. "But I think it's most important to note that he continues to move along the prescribed plan that's in place. I know with each passing day he feels better about himself with the intensity ramping up with his running. So, we'll get a better read when he returns to Florida."

Ortiz will start base-running drills on Friday. He has been running in the outfield at Yankee Stadium.

"Good. I'm doing fine," Ortiz said during a brief encounter with reporters.

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