Although Red Sox manager John Farrell has not yet set a timetable for Jacoby Ellsbury‘s return, Ells is testing the waters. Ellsbury, suffering from a compression fracture of the navicular bone in his right foot, has been out of the Red Sox lineup since September 5 after his sore foot stopped responding to treatments.
As soon as Ellsbury went down with the injury in early September he was confined to a boot for five days and then immediately did some work in the pool at Fenway Park and light exercises in the trainer’s room.
The good news for both Ellsbury and the Red Sox is that the team is not in their usual death struggle down the stretch. Boston’s division win is only a matter of time and that’s just what Ellsbury needs to heal and make a possible playoff appearance.
The Red Sox have said they expect Ellsbury to return before the end of the regular season, as did his agent, Scott Boras.
Ellsbury, breaking his silence with the Boston media, spoke to boston.com today.
Here are a few excerpts, via boston.com:
Q. How confident are you that you will be back for the playoffs?
A. “Very confident. Everybody’s excited. The docs are just happy with my progress.”
Q. Do you expect to return during the regular season?
A. “You know, we’re hopeful that I’ll be back playing. I feel very confident. I’m making quick progress.”
Q. Can you come back for the regular season?
A. “Just following the doc’s orders on what he has in store for me. Each day I come in and try to push the envelope even with them trying to get back on the field.”
“I’m definitely dying to get back out there,” Ellsbury told reporters via NESN.com. ”The docs have put me on a fast track as far as a plan and getting back as quick as possible. At the same time, just getting out there and playing like I can, I keep on telling them I’m trying to push the envelope with them. They always have to tell me to slow down. It does take time, but I’m very hopeful I’ll be back playing soon.”
A healthy Ellsbury will be a key cog in Boston’s playoff machine. In 2013 he has returned to form as one of the best leadoff hitters in major league baseball, hitting .299/.355/.424 with 31 doubles, eight triples, eight homers, 52 RBI, 89 runs and an MLB-best 52 stolen bases.