NEW YORK – David Ortiz is on a timetable to rejoin the Boston Red Sox in the middle of the third week of April.

The designated hitter plans to travel Thursday to the team’s extended spring training in Fort Myers, Fla. He has been sidelined nearly all spring with heel inflammation after missing much of the second half of last season with a right Achilles tendon injury.

“He continues to move along the prescribed plan that’s in place,” Manager John Farrell said Wednesday.

“I know with each passing day he feels better about himself, with the intensity ramping up with his running.”

Ortiz could start an injury rehabilitation assignment next week, likely with Triple-A Pawtucket.

“I think that he’d feel comfortable with 25, 30 at-bats,” Farrell said.

 

INDIANS: Left-hander Scott Kazmir will miss his first scheduled start of the season because of a sore abdominal muscle on his right side.

Kazmir felt fine after a 30-pitch bullpen session Wednesday, but Manager Terry Francona decided to play it safe rather than start Kazmir at Tampa Bay on Saturday. Kazmir will return to Cleveland for tests and rejoin the team before Friday’s game against the Rays.

 

METS: Manager Terry Collins said pitcher Shaun Marcum will have his pitching shoulder and neck examined by team doctors and Aaron Laffey likely would make a spot start Sunday.

Collins said Marcum will see the team doctors Thursday.

 

REDS: Outfielder Ryan Ludwick is expected to miss at least three months following surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right shoulder.

 

PHILLIES: Philadelphia claimed outfielder Ezequiel Carrera off waivers from Cleveland.

 

MARLINS: First baseman Casey Kotchman left the game at Washington with what appeared to be a left hamstring injury.