Nothing about David Ortiz' longer-than-anticipated recovery from a small tear in his right Achilles has gone according to plan, so take this for what it's worth: The Red Sox have outlined a plan that would get Ortiz back in the lineup by the third week of April, according to manager John Farrell.

Ortiz, who has stayed with the team during the season-opening series at Yankee Stadium, is expected to return to Fort Myers on Thursday to continue taking batting practice and going through agility drills and light running. Barring another setback, he's tentatively scheduled to begin playing in extended spring training games Monday before eventually progressing to a minor league rehab assignment. Ortiz believes he needs at least 25-30 at-bats in the minors, and Farrell said the Red Sox intend for him to get those at-bats at Triple-A Pawtucket.

"When that rehab assignment begins remains to be seen," Farrell said, "but we're still hopeful of a target timeframe of (rejoining the Red Sox by) the third week of April. It's most important to note that he continues to move along with the prescribed plan that’s in place. I know that with each passing day, he feels better about himself, with the intensity of ramping up with his running. We’ll get a better read when he returns to Florida."

Asked today how he felt when he tried to run Monday at Yankee Stadium, Ortiz said simply, "Good. It went fine."

In other injury news, shortstop Stephen Drew (concussion) will play Thursday for Double-A Portland. Per rules of the 7-day disabled list, Drew is allowed a maximum of five games on a minor league assignment. Farrell said the Red Sox have Drew penciled in to play four games, which would enable him to be ready for the home opener Monday at Fenway Park.