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David Ortiz: ‘I’m finally seeing good results’

04.11.13 at 7:23 pm ET

Red Sox DH David Ortiz told reporters in Pawtucket that the lengthy rehab process with his right Achilles is now taking considerable steps forward. He was heartened by his ability to play the game at full speed in extended spring training in Fort Myers, offering the most tangible evidence that his ability to return to the majors is nearing.

“I’€™m finally seeing good results. I’€™m seeing what an injured player expects — moving forward,” Ortiz told reporters in Pawtucket, where he’s starting a rehab assignment with the Triple-A club on Thursday night.

He said that the decision to shut him down from all baseball activity for just over a week in mid-March permitted the lingering soreness in his heel to dissipate. Now, he’s focused on making sure that he’s ready to face big league pitching.

‘€œI just make sure I’€™m good to go,” Ortiz told reporters of his goals in Pawtucket. “When it comes down to hitting, I haven’€™t played in a while, so you just want to go back to that zone that everybody knows you need to be able to dominate once you get to the bigs because otherwise you’€™ll have a hard time. Besides that, I just want to make sure that my foot is doing well, which is something, that’€™s how it’€™s been going.’€

Ortiz suggested that, while he anticipates the occasional day off this year, he still expects to be in the lineup on roughly an everyday basis.

‘€œMy goal,” he told reporters, “is just to go back up and do what I normally do.

‘€œYou just play the game like you normally do. I was in Fort Myers playing, and I was just going full speed like you normally do in a regular game,” he added. “I want to test myself. I want to make sure that I’€™m not running out there afraid or concerned about getting injured because that’€™s when things get worse. I played down there. I ran hard. Everything went well. Now we’€™re moving up here, facing guys that some of them have pitched in the big leagues, some of them are going to be there pretty soon, and I’€™ll just make sure everything goes well. When I’€™m ready, I’€™m ready.’€

The Sox are hopeful that Ortiz might be ready to return to the big leagues at some point next week.

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