David Ortiz doesn’t want his season — and possibly his Boston Red Sox career — to end on the disabled list.
The Red Sox placed Ortiz back on the 15-day disabled list Monday because of lingering problems with a strained right Achilles tendon, but the designated hitter said he hopes to play again this season.
Speaking to reporters in Boston’s dugout about 45 minutes before the club’s game against the Kansas City Royals, Ortiz expressed his desire to return this season — and beyond.
The 36-year old Ortiz said he’ll have an injection in the next day or so and hopes to return in September. He will become a free agent at the end of the season.
”We’ll see how it goes the next couple of weeks,” he said. ”If I feel good I can go out and play. . . . Oh man, no question (I want that).”
Ortiz, who at times this season has expressed disappointment of not having a multiyear deal, said he would like to come back in 2013.
”For years, I always keep telling everyone I want to be part of this organization,” he said. ”This is what I know. I know we’ve had a lot of injuries this year. I know how hard it’s been (this year).”
Once called ”the greatest clutch hitter in Red Sox history” by the club’s ownership, Ortiz, is completing his 10th season with the team. He’s best remembered for consecutive game-winning hits in Games 4 and 5 of the 2004 American League Championships Series, when Boston overcame an 0-3 deficit to beat the Yankees en route to its first World Series title in 86 years.
He also owns the club record for homers in a season, hitting 54 in 2006.
But he also understands that playing in this market can weigh on players.
”That happens. Not everybody is able to deal with the game here,” he said. ”It can be super-hard dealing with the other distractions. Some people can deal with it, some people can’t.”
Ortiz, who suffered the injury in mid-July, returned for Friday’s win over Kansas City, getting two hits and two RBI, but he has not played since because ofdiscomfort. He’s hitting .318 with 23 homers and 60 RBIs.
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said the injection would have sidelined him for about seven days so the club decided to put him on the DL.
Outfielder Ryan Kalish was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to take Ortiz’s spot on the roster.
Boston also activated right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka to start the series finale against the Royals on Monday and optioned reliever Pedro Beato back to Pawtucket.