Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 3/3/13
David Ortiz is continuing to battle his way back from the Achilles injury that ended his 2012 season. And while the slugger hopes to play in spring games soon and be ready for Opening Day, there’s no doubt that we’re in a critical stage in Ortiz’s recovery. Manager John Farrell said prior to Sunday’s spring training game against the Yankees that the next three days, in particular, will be very revealing. “These next three days are going to tell a lot where David is at with his ability to remain loose inside of a given day,” Farrell told reporters in Fort Myers. “That’s probably the one question he has yet to answer to himself. When he gets hot, loosens up, it’s the time between that time in the day and his first at-bat and every at-bat after that — that’ll happen in due time, but that’s the one thing that can’t be fully answered, is just remaining loose without continuing to run or do any agility work.” Farrell said that Ortiz’s baserunning drills will increase in intensity going forward, and the veteran has also been taking groundballs down at first base. One major focus, however, has been figuring out a way to keep Ortiz loose, particularly in his down time when he assumes his usual role as the team’s designated hitter. “I think until we get to the point of getting in games, that discussion will certainly take place, but we’ve probably been focused more on going from the agility work to the baserunning just seeing how he comes out of that,” Farrell said. “Every injury situation is going to be different and how guys respond to it. So I’m sure that bridge will be crossed for sure.” Farrell couldn’t guarantee that Ortiz will be ready for Opening Day, and he stressed the importance of not getting too far ahead. The Red Sox skipper did say, though, that the team has not explored any alternative DH options to this point. Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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