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David Ortiz upbeat after running Monday

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- David Ortiz is more optimistic that he’ll be in the Opening Day lineup after running the bases Monday and feels as if he can manage the soreness he expects to have.

“It feels good,” he said. “When I get going I’m fine. The problem is once I cool off, I start to get sore, but the doctor says it will go away. It’s just part of the treatment, part of [when you] start doing things. The injury, you got to start getting used to. That’s why we practice over and over and over and over. So you can get to that point. ... It’s a good day. I was moving pretty good. I don’t think I can run faster than that. Let’s just see how things go later on tonight.”

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Ortiz feels he needs to get between 50-60 at-bats between now and the start of the season April 1 and thinks he can do that by a combination of major league and minor league games.

“I want to play way before that. Yeah, that’s why I was doing all this stuff so I’m good to go for Opening Day,” he said. “But the main goal right now is make sure I get to play down here. Because if I play down there that means I’m good to go.”

As for the soreness which kept him from running Sunday, “Well it’s pretty much, it’s all around the same area, but different spot, which is good because that tells you that [what] you had before is already recovered. So it’s probably just getting used to it.

“I was running like I wasn’t worried about anything,” he continued. “That’s important. I ran today better than what I did the last time I ran. So everybody was pretty happy about it. I’m happy about it, because nothing bothers me when I was running and that’s a plus. That is telling me that I’m going in the right direction.”

Ortiz was asked about whether he could run Tuesday and he said, “They don’t want to wear me out either now. Because definitely the more you run the more stress you put on the joints. So that’s why today I ran like 120 yards, tomorrow they might cut me down to 60. It all depends on how I feel. But the following day, it’s my goal for another 160. It all depends. So it’s been a slow process but we’re happy the way things are going. And hopefully continue that. I’m pretty sure they’re going to continue that because I see myself improving every time we do this, more and more. The smart part about it is try not to rush it because game action is different. You might go one direction and have to turn back.”

Structurally, Ortiz said his Achilles is fine. He never suffered the rupture or tear that Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard did.

“My Achilles is fine. It’s back to normal,” he said. “So what I’m dealing right now with is some calcification down there. It seems like it’s going away because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to move like I just did. So that’s good.”

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