Boston Red Sox DH David Ortiz began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday, his first game action since experiencing difficulty with his surgically-repaired Achilles during the spring.
Ortiz was schedule to bat third and get four to five at-bats during the PawSox's home opener against the Rochester Red Wings. He struck out in his first at-bat.
Ortiz didn't report any issues this week during extended spring training games and, barring any setbacks, could rejoin the Red Sox as early as next week. Manager John Farrell said the timetable will be up to Ortiz himself.
"His return date to us is still uncertain at this point," Farrell said on Wednesday, according to NESN. "That's going to depend on David and how comfortable he feels in the box with his timing.
Ortiz played in 90 games for Boston last season, batting .318 with 23 home runs and 60 RBI in 324 at-bats.