Big Papi likely to sit out weekend

Updated: September 2, 2006, 3:09 AM ET
By Enrique Rojas | ESPNdeportes.com

MIAMI -- David Ortiz said Friday that he will follow the advice of doctors and will not play on Saturday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

David Ortiz
Ortiz

"There's nothing abnormal about my heart," Ortiz told ESPNdeportes.com in a telephone call from Boston. "But doctors would rather wait for final results of a test they are still performing on me, which won't be available until Monday.

"I have a heart rate monitor connected to my body, and whenever I feel some irregular heartbeat, I'm supposed to press a button to alert doctors," Ortiz said. "Doctors will remove the instrument on Monday and, after checking the data produced, will decide whether I can start playing immediately, if I have to wait longer or if I can't play again this season."

Ortiz, leading the American League with 47 home runs and 121 RBI, hasn't played since Monday, when he felt heart palpitations before a night's game in Oakland.

He returned early from the team's West Coast trip and was admitted into Massachussets General hospital in Boston, from where he was discharged on Thursday after undergoing several medical tests. According to doctors, his heart palpitations were related to stress and fatigue.

It was the second time in August that Ortiz was treated for the problem. He also suffered from heart palpitations during the last series between the Red Sox and the New York Yankees at Fenway Park.

Although Ortiz on Thursday announced he was planning to play Saturday, he now admits he will have to wait a little longer.

"I haven't felt any more palpitations since Monday," Ortiz said. "But I understand that everyone here wants to be 100 percent sure my health won't be at risk when I play again."

The team said in a statement that since Thursday Ortiz has "experienced no further sensations."

"David's health and safety remain our primary concerns," it said. "The medical staff will continue monitoring David in the outpatient setting with a device called an event monitor. Further testing, if indicated, will be determined by the results of outpatient monitoring."

The statement said the tests performed were basic laboratories, electrocardiogram, heart monitoring, echocardiogram, signal averaged electrocardiogram, stress testing, and magnetic resonance imaging and that they were reviewed extensively by heart consultants.

The Red Sox lost 21 of 30 games in August, including five in a series against the Yankees that gave their rivals a firm grip over the AL East. Boston now trails by eight games.

Boston is back home this weekend, where it will play 10 games in 10 days against Toronto, the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City.

In April, Ortiz, 30, signed a four-year, $50 million contract extension with the Red Sox, who also retain an option for the 2011 season.

Enrique Rojas is a reporter and columnist for ESPNdeportes.com and ESPN.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Enrique Rojas is a reporter and columnist for ESPNdeportes.com and ESPN.com.

ALSO SEE