Ortiz unlikely to be ready for start of season

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz will be shut down 5-7 days after an MRI on both heels revealed inflammation in the bony area of his right heel, manager John Farrell said Sunday afternoon.

Farrell suggested it is unlikely Ortiz will be ready for the start of the season.

The Red Sox had sent Ortiz to be examined on Saturday after Ortiz complained of soreness in both heels, particularly the right one, which he hurt last July. Ortiz played only one game the rest of the season after the injury.

“We’re going to shut him down from any type of baseball activity for right now,” Farrell said. “He’s dealing with an issue we have to give time to clear up.

“He’s going to need the at-bats,” Farrell said of the prospect of Ortiz missing the season opener. “We’re three weeks away (from the end of spring training). We’re starting to get into an area that’s going to have a direct bearing on him starting the regular season.”

Ortiz had increased his baseball activities last week, which included more time in the batting cage and more laps around the complex at JetBlue Park. The intensity apparently led to an aggravation in both heels. During his time of rest, Ortiz will do no physical activity and will take anti-inflammatory medicine, Farrell said.

“He’s feeling it in both,” Farrell said when asked if the pain is isolated to the right foot. “That’s why we did the MRI on both heels.”

“It’s specific to that tendon connection,” Farrell said. “More than anything, it’s isolated to that one spot.”

Despite the setback, Farrell said the news gives Ortiz, as well as team executives, peace of mind going forward.

“Anytime we can give some reassurance that there’s no re-injury, no damage, that’s a peace of mind,” Farrell said. “We knew once baseball activity got ramped up that there would be some physical effects to deal with. Compared to where he was at a year ago, we feel there’s been progress made. The biggest positive is he’s improved since a year ago and he is further along than last year.”