BOSTON -- As David Ortiz sat in the Fenway Park dugout following his batting practice session, he started to get more and more excited.
That excitement stemmed from his pain-free achilles. Because usually, after that amount of time following the twisting and turning that comes with swinging a bat, he starts to feel some pain.
But on Tuesday, there was nothing, following an injection into the achilles on Monday.
"It feels better since I got that injection yesterday," said Ortiz before Tuesday night's game against the Texas Rangers. "I actually felt pretty good last night. I feel like I could have played last night. It got me a little excited.
"Today was the first time I kind of could run a little faster than what I've been doing. I still have a little sensation there, but it's improving, it's getting better, and hopefully tomorrow -- after all the work that we did today -- it doesn't feel worse than what it is today. That means I'm improving. It's a good sign."
Ortiz doesn't expect to return to the Red Sox lineup until Sunday in Cleveland. But it's all depending on how he feels each day, following everyday baseball activities.
"It's an injury that takes some time," said Ortiz. "Of course I want to play. And I was expecting to be ready to go in two weeks. But, most of the people that I've talked to, some people gave me the heads up right after I got injured and said, 'Hey, that takes some time to heal up.' But the way I feel today, it's healing fast, compared with what people normally told you about it."
"He says he feels as good now, as he did before he got hurt," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. "He's taking a real slow day today, and will have full activity tomorrow."
As for a possible minor-league rehab game before now and Sunday, Valentine smiled when asked and said, "That'll be up to David."
And if it's up to Ortiz, then there won't be any time for rehab games.
"I don't feel like going to rehab," said Ortiz. "It's not like I have plenty of time for it. So I'm just going to try and go out as soon as I feel better.
"I'm trying to come in. In my case, I kind of know what it takes me to come back and go back in form."