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A month after his injury, David Ortiz has a message for the doubters

08.17.12 at 1:57 am ET
By

David Ortiz

BALTIMORE – David Ortiz checks Twitter on occasion. Recently he has been surprised at some of what he has seen.

A few messages to @DavidOrtiz have actually questioned the designated hitter’s motivations regarding his return from his right Achilles tendon injury. It has been one month since he left the Red Sox’ lineup, and people are getting antsy.

Ortiz understands the impatience. What he doesn’t comprehend are the doubts.

“You’re talking to David Ortiz. I love being on the field. If I’m not on the field there’s a major reason,” he said. “I don’t just stop playing baseball because. You think with the season I’m having I want to be off the field? Hell no. As much as I mean to my team, and they need me, I want to be off the field? Nope. But injuries are injuries and the human body has a healing process.

“When it comes down to that, especially with my age and my situation I have to be smart about it. If something goes down and I re-aggravate my injury, it’s not going to be good for anybody.”

Ortiz took all three days in Baltimore off, only participating in regular training room treatment with no running or hitting. His hope is to return to the batting cage Friday, moving toward a return.

But with just six weeks remaining in the regular season, and Ortiz staring at another offseason of identifying his next contract, an uncomfortable topic is not being surfaced: the potential of not playing again this season.

“Hopefully not. I don’t see it that way,” he said regarding the possibility of shutting it down for the season. “I was talking to the doctor the other day and they told me, ‘Look, this is an injury where everybody is different. We put you on the 15-day disabled list, look at the MRI and we have seen guys heal up anywhere from three weeks to six weeks from this injury.’ Maybe I put a lot of pressure on that because I’m a big guy and it takes longer. Everybody is different. It’s something that happens. He said, ‘I know you are desperate for being on the field and are a little frustrated because you expected ready to go for the first few weeks and you’re walking into four weeks. But it’s a healing process.’”

Since Ortiz’ exited the lineup the Red Sox are 12-17, totaling the 15th-best OPS in baseball (.733) during the stretch. This after carrying the fourth-best OPS (.769) up until June 17.

And while the reality of free agency is on Ortiz’ radar, that isn’t what he’s currently prioritizing. Playing this season, he said, is the priority.

“Right now, to be honest with you, I’m only focused on seeing if I can go back and play. That’s all I really care about,” he said. “But at the same time, I want to play but I don’t want to re-injure the injury that is already there. Forget about what’s going to happen next year. Forget about what’s going to happen this offseason. I want to make sure, me personally, when I go out there I can keep on playing and I’m not going to be afraid to make a move or do anything.

“The doctor told me this is an injury that has a lot of ups and downs when I start playing. If I’m capable of going out and playing, that’s fine with me. If I’m capable of going out and playing, I don’t have a problem with that.”

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