Still feeling sore, Ortiz takes break from running

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox slugger David Ortiz took another down day from running on Friday, making it obvious that he won't reach the original target of playing in an exhibition game by the end of this week.

Coming off a right Achilles injury, every activity Ortiz participates in needs to be based on symptoms, and Boston's designated hitter still has enough soreness that he typically can't run the bases two days in a row.

"He'll take batting practice and go through the drill work but no running today," said manager John Farrell. "Hopefully [he will run] again tomorrow. As he has mentioned himself, there are days we have to adjust at the moment. I know David is frustrated by it and we'll continue to go day to day with it."

At this point, the Red Sox aren't ready to rule Ortiz out for Opening Day, which is April 1 at Yankee Stadium.

"We haven't gotten to that point yet, no," Farrell said. "We feel like even now, with Minor League games starting up, we'll still be able to get the appropriate number of at-bats that he'll feel comfortable with -- provided there's progress being made. That's the status of day to day."

There are few players in Boston's lineup as critical to the team's success as Ortiz. Perhaps that's why Farrell hasn't contemplated a "Plan B" just yet in the event Ortiz isn't ready to go when the Sox break camp.

"He's critically important to our lineup," said Farrell. "He's aware of that. I think that's what adds to his frustration of not being able to get on the field and participate in Spring Training and get ready for the regular season, because we haven't come to that date yet where 'OK, plan B is now a legitimate one.' I know those discussions will take place, but we're still hopeful that he will be ready. But we've got to be aware that that may need adjusting."

Ortiz has stated he'd like to get about 50 at-bats before the season starts. At this point, Farrell said that Ortiz isn't seeking a second opinion for his Achilles, which was originally injured nearly eight months ago.

Boston's training staff remains confident that Ortiz is still having routine soreness from the original injury, and that a subsequent ailment hasn't developed.

"Every indication is that right now -- yes," Farrell said. "That this is part of getting back in shape and it's volume and intensity related. There isn't the thought of any kind of re-injury or injuring anymore then what was sustained last year."

Ian Browne is a reporter for Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.