Great news for David Ortiz and baseball in general -- Big Papi will return to MLB on FOX this weekend for pre and post-game coverage ... just months after he almost died in a shooting.
The 43-year-old was shot in the Dominican Republic on June 9 and underwent several life-saving surgeries since. Ortiz made his first public appearance on Sept. 9 to throw out the 1st pitch at a Red Sox Game in Boston.
But, now another huge step for the MLB legend ... he's healthy enough to join his FOX colleagues Alex Rodriguez and Frank Thomas in the studio to help cover the MLB Playoffs.
Ortiz first worked with MLB on FOX as a guest analyst during the 2014 World Series and he was so good, FOX hired him full-time.
Earlier this week, Ortiz had hinted at his TV return ... showing a picture from last year's World Series coverage when the Dodgers took on the Boston Red Sox.
As we previously reported, Ortiz was shot in the lower back at point-blank range while hanging out with friends in the Dominican Republic. He went into emergency surgery there on the island nation, and was eventually transported to the Boston area hospital where he remained in the critical condition for a while.
As we reported ... doctors found the bullet that struck Ortiz had pierced his liver, his small and large intestines -- he even had to have his gall bladder removed during surgery.
Officials in the D.R. have said Ortiz was NOT the intended target that fateful night -- claiming the shooter was attempting to kill Ortiz's friend, Sixto David Fernandez -- who was allegedly sitting near Ortiz at Dial Bar and Lounge.