David Ortiz injury: Red Sox slugger aiming for mid-April return

J. Meric

The Boston Red Sox hope designated hitter David Ortiz can return to action by mid-April, but the beginning of May could be a "more realistic" time frame.

The Boston Red Sox hope designated hitter David Ortiz can return to action by mid-April, but the beginning of May could be a "more realistic" time frame, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

More Red Sox: Predictions for April

Ortiz hasn't swung a bat in eight days due to a lingering foot issue related to his Achilles' tendon injury. It's the same ailment that sidelined Ortiz for a significant stretch last season.

The Red Sox signed Ortiz to a two-year, $26 million contract following the 2012 campaign. He was limited by injury last year, but he proved effective when able to suit up. Over 383 plate appearances, the 37-year-old hit .318/.415/.611 with 26 doubles and 23 home runs.

The Red Sox have been expecting to be without Big Papi since earlier this month, when the veteran started experiencing general soreness in both of his feet. Boston could elect to look outside the organization to help fill in for Ortiz, but it appears more likely that the team will go with an in-house option.

Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe offered some alternatives to Ortiz a little over a week ago. He noted that Lyle Overbay could be used as the team's regular at first base, with offseason acquisition Mike Napoli shifting over to DH. Other scenarios Abraham mentioned had Boston using Mauro Gomez as their DH to open the season or keeping three catchers on the roster and having Ryan Lavarnway and Jarrod Saltalamacchia fill the role.

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