BOSTON (CBS) — David Ortiz has not played in a game since July 16, which is maddening enough for just about any player. What’s making matters worse for Ortiz is that he just can’t know when he’ll be able to play again.
The designated hitter, nursing an Achilles injury, had hoped to return to game action over the weekend in Cleveland. However, he never was able to complete his workouts pain-free, so he remains on the disabled list for the time being.
“It hasn’t healed like we were expecting,” Ortiz said Sunday in Cleveland, according to the Boston Herald. “I had a good day the other day at Fenway. I ran and I was feeling pain, but not as bad. After that one day, I got sore again. It’s a roller coaster, bro.”
Since Ortiz has been out of the lineup, the Red Sox have actually gone 14-11, a near-mirror image of the team’s 46-44 record at the time of the injury. Still, Ortiz said it’s driving him crazy to be forced to just watch so many games without playing.
Despite the short-term desire to play now, Ortiz did mention that he’s taking a long-term approach, given his impending free agency at season’s end.
“If you go back and play sore, of course [the Achilles could tear] because it’s not just healing, it’s not ready,” said Ortiz, who expressed frustration earlier this season at his lack of long-term contract with the Red Sox. “I don’t want to run that risk, either. I’m a free agent after this year, and I don’t want to have to go into surgery as a free agent. So [the approach is], ‘Let it heal and play when you’re ready.'”
Ortiz was hitting .316 at the time of his injury, which would be his best batting average since 2007, when he hit .332. He’s belted 23 homers and 25 doubles while driving in 58 runs in 89 games this season.