Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz took his first steps — literally — on Tuesday in his recovery from a gunshot wound.
Ortiz got up and walked a bit at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, accompanied by his wife and children, his spokesman, Leo Lopez, told CNN.
Lopez added of Ortiz, “He’ll be in intensive care for a while.”
The former slugger was listed in stable condition after a second surgery Monday night in Boston.
His wife, Tiffany Ortiz, issued a statement Tuesday through the Red Sox: “David arrived at Massachusetts General Hospital last night and underwent a successful second surgery. He is stable, awake, and resting comfortably this morning in the ICU where he is expected to remain for the next several days.
“On behalf of me and my family, I want to thank John and Linda Henry, Tom Werner, Sam Kennedy and the Boston Red Sox for all that they are doing for David and our family, as well as Dr. Larry Ronan and the amazing staff at Massachusetts General Hospital. Lastly, I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of support and love that we have received during this incredibly difficult time. We ask for privacy as David works towards recovery.”
Ortiz was alert after the surgery, which lasted until about 1 a.m. ET, and “even flashed that smile” afterward, Lopez told ESPN.
The number of visitors will be limited and Ortiz will be closely monitored for the next 24 to 48 hours, but doctors are hopeful that he will make a full recovery.
Authorities said a man got off a motorcycle and shot Ortiz in the back Sunday night at a club in Santo Domingo in his native Dominican Republic. Surgeons there operated for six hours to repair damage to his intestines and liver, also removing his gallbladder.
Once his condition stabilized, Ortiz was flown to Boston on Monday and taken by ambulance to Mass General.
According to ESPN Deportes, police have the suspected gunman and the suspected driver of the motorcycle in custody.
Ortiz, known to fans and teammates as “Big Papi,” played the last 14 years (2003-16) of his 20-year big league career in Boston. He was named an All-Star 10 times and helped the Red Sox win World Series championships in 2004, 2007 and 2013.
–Field Level Media