The Boston Red Sox baseball team has sent a team plane to the Dominican Republic to fly its former superstar David Ortiz home for treatment after he was shot and seriously wounded in a bar Sunday night.
Doctors in Santo Domingo removed his gallbladder and part of his intestine in a six-hour operation. The hospital and Red Sox officials say Ortiz was in serious but stable condition Monday, but well enough to fly to Boston.
Ortiz's father told ESPN television that doctors expect him to quickly recover.
"The events of last night shook our Red Sox family to its core," team president Sam Kennedy said Monday. "David Ortiz is one of the most celebrated and beloved members of the Red Sox family. On behalf of our entire organization, our thoughts and prayers are with David."
Former President Barack Obama sent his best wishes to Ortiz. Obama credits him with helping bring the city together after the 2013 Boston Marathon terrorist bombing that killed three and wounded 260.
Other Boston sports stars, including New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, are also urging Ortiz to get well soon.
The Dominican native was sitting at a table in a bar Sunday night when a gunman pulled up on a motorcycle, entered the bar and fired at Ortiz point blank.
The crowd jumped on the alleged shooter and beat him before handing him over to police. A second suspect, who was not believed to be armed, escaped. Two other people in the bar, including a Dominican television host who was sitting with Ortiz, were also wounded.
It is unclear if Ortiz was specifically targeted or why.
Ortiz, lovingly known as "Big Papi," is one of the most popular and powerful stars ever to wear a Boston Red Sox uniform.
He started his career with the Minnesota Twins, and joined the Red Sox in 2003, leading the team to three world championships, being named World Series Most Valuable Player in 2013.
Ortiz also played on 10 All-Star teams. He retired in 2016 after hitting 541 home runs, placing him 17th on the list of all-time home run leaders.