BOSTON -- David Ortiz is unlikely to be activated from the 15-day disabled list Wednesday, the first day he is eligible to return from a strained right Achilles tendon.
"He's not far away, but I don't know that Wednesday's the magical day," said manager Bobby Valentine. "It will be sometime soon. He's running in the pool and we'll take it from there."
Ortiz did not speak to the media on Monday.
The slugger had to cancel his planned on-field exercises before Sunday night's game vs. the Yankees after feeling discomfort in the area affected by the injury. As a result, Ortiz worked out in a pool prior to Monday's series opener against the Tigers.
"He was a little sore the day before," Valentine said, "and that's why he went to the pool today to do that running routine."
Ortiz has not played since July 16, when he was hurt rounding the bases on an Adrian Gonzalez home run. The designated hitter has been doing some hitting drills since Friday.
"He's swinging OK," Valentine said. "He doesn't seem like he's lost a lot of his rhythm or strength or timing, but he's only at about 80 percent when he's swinging because he's trying to keep away from making the situation any worse."
Ortiz has been the most productive bat for the Red Sox this year, hitting .316 with 23 homers and 58 RBIs. He was in the midst of an 11-game hitting streak at the time of his injury.
Aviles dealing with turf toe; Ciriaco starts at short
BOSTON -- Mike Aviles was out of the Red Sox's lineup for the second straight game on Monday as he continues to nurse a turf toe injury.
Instead, Pedro Ciriaco started at shortstop and hit ninth for the second time in as many days. In addition to Sunday, Aviles also missed a game on July 21 against Toronto with turf toe.
"It's not a life-threatening situation, but it sure is an encumbrance and we're just trying to see what we can do to get that feeling out of there," said manager Bobby Valentine. "It's not fun to deal with, and so the less he strains it in the athletic motions of playing the better it can calm down. If it calms down, we'll have 100 percent Mike back."
Aviles is mired in a 1-for-18 slump, his only hit a single that drove in the winning run in the ninth inning to beat Texas, 2-1, last Tuesday. He's available if the Sox need him for Monday's series opener against the Tigers.
"He can play in the game, go in for an emergency, pinch-hit, all those things," Valentine said. "I wouldn't pinch-run him necessarily, but we could if we had to."
Ciriaco has been a productive player since being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on July 6. The infielder entered Monday's game hitting .349 with eight RBIs in 18 games.
Ciriaco drove in the winning run in each of the Sox's two wins over the Yankees this weekend, a triple in the ninth inning of Saturday's 8-6 victory and a 10th-inning single in a 3-2 win on Sunday.
Dice-K begins rehab stint with PawSox
BOSTON -- Daisuke Matsuzaka started his Minor League rehabilitation assignment Monday, pitching 2 1/3 innings for Triple-A Pawtucket.
Matsuzaka, out since July 3 with a neck injury, threw 47 pitches and struck out three against one walk. The right-hander allowed four hits and no runs against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.
After going 0-3 with a 6.65 ERA in four starts for the Red Sox in his return from Tommy John surgery, Dice-K is once again working to get back to the Major Leagues. Before Monday's game against the Tigers, manager Bobby Valentine said Matsuzaka is not feeling pain from the trapezius strain that landed him on the DL but needs to "build up his pitches and his competitiveness" before returning to Boston.
In other injury news, reliever Andrew Bailey is scheduled to begin a Minor League rehab assignment Wednesday with the Gulf Coast League Red Sox.
Bailey, who underwent right thumb surgery the day before the regular season started, flew to Fort Myers, Fla., on Monday and will play catch Tuesday. He will likely move up to an affiliate shortly thereafter.
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.