Ortiz says he’s 2-3 weeks away from return

Sox slugger David Ortiz took 25 soft swings in the batting cages at Fenway last night and said today he expects that he is 2-3 weeks away from returning to the lineup.

“Another 2-3 weeks before I start playing,” Ortiz told reporters today.

The Sox DH said last night’s batting tee session was positive and “not a setback.”

“It’s actually positive because when I got hurt, I couldn’t even hold a bat,” he said. “Now I’m getting to the point where I can swing slowly, so they know what point I’m at in my progress.”

But Ortiz said he was still weeks away from taking full swings with a bat. He anticipates going on a rehab stint before rejoining the big club.

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Ortiz also said the pain in his wrist has decreased substantially but he still felt it “a little bit.”

“It’s not as bad as it was,” Ortiz said regarding the pain. “When I got injured, I couldn’t even hold onto my bat. Now I can at least swing slow without much problem.”

Ortiz has been on the 15-day disabled list with a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist, an injury he sustained May 31 in Baltimore.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said everything is going according to plan. “Not real aggressive. That wasn’t the purpose.” Francona said when asked about the swings of Ortiz today. “There’s got to be a place to start and before we got on the road the guys wanted to see him do it. It will be a little slow at first, which it’s supposed to be, but everything is kind of going according to plan.”

Tonight’s lineups:

Red Sox
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, LF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
4. Manny Ramirez, DH
5. Mike Lowell, 3B
6. Coco Crisp, CF
7. Kevin Cash, C
8. Brandon Moss, RF
9. Julio Lugo, SS
P — Tim Wakefield (4-5, 4.17 ERA)

Diamondbacks
1. Eric Byrnes, LF
2. Stephen Drew, SS
3. Orlando Hudson, 2B
4. Conor Jackson, 1B
5. Chad Tracy, DH
6. Mark Reynolds, 3B
7. Chris Young, CF
8. Miguel Montero, C
9. Justin Upton, RF
P — Randy Johnson (4-5, 5.09 ERA)

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