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David Ortiz unlikely to return to Red Sox in 2012

An injury will likely sideline David Ortiz for rest of 2012. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

The Boston Red Sox's tumultuous 2012 season will likely end without their biggest remaining bat. The Boston Globe's Michael Vega reports designated hitter David Ortiz will likely be shut down for this season's 21 remaining games.

Ortiz, who has been sidelined with a strained right Achilles' since Aug. 25, was hoping to return after undergoing a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment. Two weeks after the injection, Ortiz still doesn't appear capable of getting back on the field before the Red Sox's scheduled season-ender, Sept. 30 in Baltimore.

“I would assume that,’’ said manager Bobby Valentine before the game against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park. “Unless David decides he’s totally pain free [he won’t play]. As of our last conversation, he feels much better, and the shot seems to have really worked. But I think it takes a couple of weeks for that to totally set in.’’

Ortiz looked ready to return after missing 35 games on his first trip to the DL on Aug. 24, going 2 for 4 with a double and 2 RBIs, but felt pain in his heel as he ran the bases. The Red Sox placed Ortiz back on the DL (retroactive to Aug. 25).

Ortiz opted to undergo a PRP injection in his right heel, a painful procedure that required him to stay off his feet for the last two weeks.

“I’m feeling pretty good after the PRP thing,’’ he said. “But this is an injury where time is pretty much what you need to heal. I think that’s the goal right now, make sure that I don’t have to worry about this anymore. We don’t see the point of coming back and not being ready yet.’’

Ortiz, doesn't appear to be leaning toward rushing back before the Red Sox's home finale, Sept 26 against Tampa Bay.

“To be honest with you, what I’m looking for right now is to make sure that I heal up the right way,” he said. “I pushed it once and it didn’t work, so I’m not going to push again. If I’m good to go, I’m good to go.’’

Ortiz, who will be a free agent after this season, could have played his last game with the Red Sox. While Ortiz has expressed a desire to play an 11th season in Boston, the Red Sox's recent mega-deal with the Dodgers is evidence that the team is looking to rebuild with or without its 16-year MLB veteran.

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