The Boston Red Sox have pledged their support to their former player David Ortiz as he recovers from a gunshot wound.

The former designated hitter, now 43, was shot in the back in his hometown of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic but is reportedly in a stable condition and expected to make a full recovery.

A Red Sox statement read: "Late last night we were made aware of an incident involving David Ortiz in the Dominican Republic.

"David's family has confirmed that he sustained a gunshot wound to the lower back/abdominal region. David is being treated at Clinica Abel Gonzalez in Santo Domingo where he is recovering after surgery.

"We have offered David's family all available resources to aid in his recovery and will continue to keep them in our hearts."

Ortiz, known as 'Big Papi', played 14 seasons for the Red Sox, winning three World Series with them, having previously represented the Minnesota Twins.

He hit 541 home runs in his career, holding the Major League Baseball record for a designated hitter, and was World Series MVP in 2013.

His fellow Dominican, Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez, tweeted a picture of the pair together accompanied by the message: "I'm at peace knowing you out of danger; you a strong man Compai, can't wait to hear your voice. My thoughts and prayers are with you, see you soon."

Former Red Sox player Blake Swihart wrote that Ortiz "has made an impact on so many" and "will be back being Big Papi", while Los Angeles Angels slugger Mike Trout and the Philadelphia Phillies' Andrew McCutchen were among the current MLB players to pay tribute.