BOSTON -- Reliever Andrew Bailey is progressing in his Minor League rehab assignment, and his next hurdle will be to pitch on back-to-back days for Triple-A Pawtucket.
Bailey will pitch for the PawSox on Wednesday and Thursday, barring any setbacks. He tossed an inning for Double-A Portland on Sunday, allowing one run and striking out two.
"I feel good, it was nice to get back out there and I feel pretty normal today, so I'm just looking forward to the next step in the program and getting back," said Bailey, who had right thumb surgery the day before the 2012 season began.
The right-hander reached 94 mph with his fastball on Sunday and also used his cutter and curveball. He still has a few more rehab outings left before the Red Sox will be ready to activate him. Bailey has not pitched for Boston this year.
"Just got to knock off the rust, but after yesterday, I'm very confident that I'll be here soon and I definitely took a lot of positives out of it," Bailey said before Monday's game against the Rangers. "This whole year has been a snail's pace."
Fellow reliever Rich Hill is getting closer to a rehab assignment of his own. The left-hander threw a bullpen session at Fenway Park on Monday, and he could head out to Florida to join the Gulf Coast League Red Sox later this week when Boston begins a 10-game road trip on Thursday.
"His mound work has been really good, and we're close to getting him to Florida to pitch in a game," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. "And that might be as soon as we leave. It might be batting practice first there and then a game."
Hill has been on the 60-day disabled list since June 10 with a strained left elbow.
Big Papi gets injection for sore Achilles
BOSTON -- Injured Red Sox slugger David Ortiz got an injection in his strained right Achilles early Monday evening.
"He said it was like Novocaine, and he felt great," said manager Bobby Valentine after Monday's 9-2 win over the Rangers. "He said he could have played tonight on the bench, but who knows how long that's going to last."
Ortiz won't know the full effect of the injection for a few days, but he hopes to return during a four-game series in Cleveland that begins on Thursday.
"I guess I have to give it a couple of days to see what the reaction is going to be like and then go from there," Ortiz said. "I don't think I'm doing anything for the next couple of days. I haven't been told anything, so I've got to wait."
The Red Sox are still uncertain when Ortiz will be able to return to the lineup.
"I don't have a timeline," said Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington before Monday's game. "I know he's champing at the bit. We obviously need to get him out there as quickly as we can. It hasn't healed quite as quickly as we had hoped. The diagnosis hasn't changed. It just hasn't come around quite as quickly. He's making progress every day, just not quite as quickly as we were hoping. Hopefully, he's in there sooner rather than later."
Ortiz has not played since he suffered the injury on July 16. The slugger has been eligible to return from the 15-day disabled list since Wednesday. But Valentine would not give a timetable for when he expects Ortiz to return.
"I thought it was days a couple days ago, so that was probably wrong," the manager said. "When he's ready, I'll be ready to put him in the lineup, that's for sure."
Ortiz did not take batting practice on Monday at Fenway Park nor did he work out on the field as he had been doing last week at the start of Boston's 10-game homestand.
The Red Sox are 9-11 since Ortiz went on the DL. The designated hitter leads the club with a .316 batting average, 23 home runs, a .414 on-base percentage and 65 runs.
Reliever Vicente Padilla was unavailable Monday, Valentine said. He is dealing with biceps and triceps soreness. Padilla faced three batters on Sunday against Minnesota and allowed three runs on two homers with a walk.
Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed four runs (one earned) in three innings in his latest rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday. He struck out three and allowed one walk.
"The first two innings, he threw the ball better than he has," Valentine said. "When there was an error behind him and a couple of guys got on base, he lost a little of his command."
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.