Big Papi 'likely' headed back to disabled list

Big Papi 'likely' headed back to disabled list

BOSTON -- Red Sox slugger David Ortiz appears likely to return to the disabled list on Monday due to his strained right Achilles tendon.

"It's likely that if he doesn't have a real miraculous recovery tonight, he'll have a DL situation [on Monday]," manager Bobby Valentine said following Sunday's 8-6 win over the Royals.

Ortiz was out of the lineup on Sunday for the second straight game, the result of soreness in his right Achilles. The slugger returned from the DL on Friday after missing 35 games. But Ortiz aggravated the injury when he laced a double in his second at-bat. Now the Red Sox must decide what's best for Ortiz's health moving forward.

"We're talking about it, because I just can't really play like this," Ortiz said before Sunday's game. "I don't want to be thinking about my foot while I'm facing the opposition, which is what happened to me after I hit that double [on Friday]. My last two at-bats, instead of just focusing on seeing the ball and hitting, I'm thinking about how much is it going to react once I take off running. We're talking to the doctors and we're going to have some decisions by the end of the game or whatever, just to see how we're going to approach this."

The Red Sox trail the Yankees by 13 1/2 games in the American League East. At 61-67, Boston is nine games off the pace for the AL Wild Card. Still, Ortiz wants to play if he's healthy.

"I like to play," Ortiz said. "When I'm good, I like to play, no matter what the situation is. It's not the first time we are out of contention, and me shutting it down for any particular reason -- I like to play, I like to be on the field, I know the fans like to come and watch me play, so it's our job when we are healthy to be on the field, no question. There's nothing I'd like to do more than be on the field. I enjoy that, but got to be healthy for that."

Ortiz leads the Red Sox with a .318 average, 23 home runs and 1.026 OPS. He's also riding a 12-game hitting streak.

"We're definitely not going to do anything to jeopardize David's career," Valentine said. "David totally wants to do everything he can to be a part of this team for as long as he can this year and into the future. So that's what we're dealing with."