Ortiz close to swinging bat after resting ailing wrist

Updated: November 11, 2008, 5:03 PM ET
Associated Press

BOSTON -- Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz said he is about a month away from swinging a bat after spending the last month resting the ailing left wrist that slowed him for much of last season.

Speaking at a news conference to announce a new charity golf tournament in the Dominican Republic, Ortiz said his wrist is "feeling fine" and the inflammation has gone away.

David Ortiz

Ortiz

"It's doing good," he said.

Ortiz, who hit 54 homers in 2006, batted .264 with just 23 home runs and 89 RBIs in 109 games -- all lows for him since he joined the Red Sox in 2003. He made two trips to the disabled list with a partially torn tendon sheath in his left wrist.

"Since I got back, I was missing a lot of pitches," he said. "I was like, 'I can't believe it.'"

Doctors told him to rest over the offseason and have predicted a full recovery.

Ortiz will have a chance to test his swing -- his golf swing -- next month when he hosts a golf tournament in his native country to benefit the David Ortiz Children's Fund.

Already committed are former Bruins great Bobby Orr, ex-Celtic John Havlicek and former Red Sox Jim Rice. Active baseball stars who are expected to attend are Philadelphia Phillies slugger Ryan Howard and shortstop Jimmy Rollins, New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and closer Mariano Rivera, who won't be able to play golf because he's recovering from shoulder surgery.

"I guess people understand how important it is, what I'm trying to do," Ortiz said. "It's something that's going to help a lot of people, a lot of children."

Ortiz said about 40 children have already received open-heart surgery through the charity. He was given a book with the pictures of the kids who were treated.

"It makes me feel like going 5-for-5 with three jacks," Ortiz said. "This is what makes me a complete man, when I know I'm helping somebody that really needs it."

Confessing to a lack of golf skills, Ortiz said, "I'm working on it," adding with a smile, "I can hit the ball far."

That's what the Red Sox are counting on next year.

Ortiz said the Red Sox need another big bat in the lineup to protect him since disgruntled slugger Manny Ramirez was shipped to Los Angeles.

"This team just needs a few guys in the bullpen and another 30-homer guy and we'll be all set," Ortiz said.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press