BOSTON -- When Andrew Miller takes the mound against the Royals on Friday night, it'll be his first start this month.

Miller has three innings in a pair of relief appearances since his last start on July 31, and he was scheduled to throw an extended side session on Wednesday.

"Well, we'll certainly keep an eye on him," said manager Terry Francona. "He's thrown, warmed up a lot. He hasn't necessarily been in games, so it shouldn't get in the way."

Francona said Miller will probably throw 85-95 pitches on Friday, but Miller hasn't completed six innings since July 2.

"I just think you come out of that start probably a little more sore than normal," Francona said. "Or stiff is probably a better word."

Papi hopes to miss only a week with bursitis

BOSTON -- After missing Tuesday's doubleheader with bursitis in his right heel, designated hitter David Ortiz was limping around the Red Sox's clubhouse Wednesday morning with a boot on his right foot.

Ortiz was out of Wednesday's lineup and said the injury has been bothering him for a little while, but the series finale in Seattle over the weekend is when it really started to aggravate him.

"The day off was all right, but yesterday, I couldn't run," said Ortiz, who is hoping to miss no more than a week. "I was limping really bad. I finally came to the doctor, [and he] checked me out. ... We're just going to get some treatment. It's not anything crazy."

Papi said the training staff gave him some medication Sunday that initially helped, but he's had a little bit of inflammation above his right heel.

"It bothers you for pretty much everything," he said. "Even when I'm walking, it bothers me. It's not a good feeling. It's very painful."

Ortiz will stay in the boot for a few days, though he expects to be back in Boston's lineup by the end of the team's upcoming eight-game road trip.

"The doctor said it's pretty normal in people that exercise and things like that," he said. "They deal with that everyday. It's not like I have an Achilles problem or anything. It's just aggravation from running and doing all that kind of stuff."

Jed Lowrie and Carl Crawford split DH duties on Tuesday, going a combined 0-for-6 with four strikeouts. Adrian Gonzalez was in Wednesday's lineup as the DH, allowing Kevin Youkilis to shift over to first and Lowrie to play third.

Manager Terry Francona said he'll use the DH as a way to rest his regulars, though Gonzalez, who has been nursing a sore neck, may see consecutive days off later in the season.

"For the most part, I don't think Gonzie really likes [to DH]," Francona said. "But I think today is a day he'll happily do it. ... And [his neck] may have cut into his power a little bit, but you play and continue to play."

Aviles seeing plenty of action with new ballclub

BOSTON -- Mike Aviles arrived in Boston at the end of July with the notion that he'd be a utility player on a contending team -- and he seemed fine with his role.

But with Jed Lowrie's left shoulder, Marco Scutaro's back and some crafty managing by Terry Francona, Aviles has gotten in the lineup more often than not with his new team, hitting .333 in 11 games since joining the Sox.

"Well, I think with most utility guys or guys that can move around the field, sometimes their playing time is dictated not by so much how they swing the bat but by who's available or not available," Francona said Wednesday, with Aviles in the lineup for the third straight game. "The one nice thing we've seen is his ability to play shortstop has really made it easier. We actually put Jed at third, put [Mike] at short just because of his range.

"And I think at some point, he'll be a good outfielder. Probably a little bit rushed right now, but I think at some point, he'll do that well, too."

Aviles has played some right field for the Sox, a position he hadn't played since college. But his offensive ability has been heavily impacted by the pitcher on the mound, as his .311 average against lefties this season indicates. Aviles has hit just .205 off right-handed pitchers.

"[Against] certain types of pitchers, he can be real dangerous, especially left-handers," Francona said. "Righties can get the ball in close to him. He's a pretty strong kid. He looks to hit a mistake."

Francona said Scutaro, who has been dealing with back tightness, won't play again until he's cleared by the medical staff, though there's no timetable for his return.

Worth noting

• Bobby Jenks threw a side session Tuesday, and manager Terry Francona said the right-handed reliever is still set back a little from a sickness that caused him to lose "a ton of weight."

• Injured outfielder J.D. Drew will travel with the team to Kansas City, where he'll hit on the field for the first time since landing on the 15-day disabled list, Francona said. "Then we'll reevaluate where he is again. At some point, he's going to go out and play [on a rehab assignment]."

• Though Erik Bedard has notched three starts with the Red Sox without a win, Francona said he's been encouraged by the club's new starting pitcher. "We kind of said when we came over here that he wasn't in midseason form. I think he's actually done a pretty good job while he's fighting to get in that form. We're excited."

• Jed Lowrie saved the ball from Tuesday's triple play, and his teammates were signing it in the clubhouse before Wednesday's game.

• Second baseman Dustin Pedroia celebrated his 28th birthday Wednesday.