Ortiz thinks knee is coming along well after surgery

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- David Ortiz is happy
with the pace of his recovery from knee surgery.

Boston's designated hitter had arthroscopic surgery on his right
knee Nov. 6 to repair damaged cartilage that has bothered him all

"I think I will be training and running at full speed by
January," he said Tuesday. "It was a simple operation."

Ortiz hit a career-high .332 this year, but his 35 homers and
117 RBIs were his lowest totals in the past four seasons. He played
in 149 games but sat out the penultimate game of the regular season
after receiving a cortisone shot in his knee.

On another topic, Ortiz said the issue of performance-enhancing
drugs in baseball had been blown out of proportion. George Mitchell
is expected to issue his report by the end of the year.

"It's like they've placed that issue on the same level as [the
war in] Iraq," Ortiz said. "It doesn't make sense to hear people
talk more about whether Barry Bonds used steroids than about people
dying in Iraq."