Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/10/12

In what can be described only as the worst-kept secret in the Boston Red Sox's clubhouse, manager Bobby Valentine admitted Sunday that David Ortiz almost certainly will be shut down for the duration of the season.

"I would assume so," Valentine said.

Ortiz has returned to wearing a protective boot on his right foot after aggravating his strained right Achilles tendon on Aug. 24. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection nearly two weeks ago but has not yet resumed baseball activities.

Ortiz was initially injured July 16. He missed 35 games before returning for one game in which he experienced a setback while legging out a double.

Ortiz won't rule out a return in the season's final weeks, although he intends to abide by the advice of doctors. He's expected to get the protective boot removed Tuesday.

"It all depends on what the doctor says, what they think will be the right thing to do, and like I told them, I just don't want to have no more setbacks," Ortiz said. "I want to make sure it's no more problems. Last time I had a setback, I basically told them, 'Do I need surgery for this?' They were like, 'No, you don't need surgery.' So, OK, let's fix this and that way I don't have to worry about it anymore, and that's what they're doing right now."

Despite his prolonged absence, Ortiz still is tied for the team lead with 23 home runs. He's batting .318 and slugging .611 with a .415 on-base percentage.

And in his absence, Ortiz' value has been magnified. Since he strained his Achilles on July 16, the Red Sox are batting .262, slugging .401 and scoring 4.3 runs per game, down from their season totals of a .266 average, .427 slugging percentage and 4.8 runs per game.

"He's appreciated and needed when he's not (playing)," Valentine said. "He's a difference-maker."

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