Ellsbury has fracture, but likely not out for season

Ellsbury has fracture, but likely not out for season
September 8, 2013, 7:15 pm
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(AP Photo)

NEW YORK -- Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury has a non-displacement compression fracture of his right foot and will be in a protective
boot for the next five days, but the Red Sox have reason to expect he'll be back before the end of the regular season.
     
Ellsbury, who first suffered the injury on Aug. 28 when he fouled a ball off the foot, returned to the lineup and played seven more games before aggravating the injury further when he slid into second base Friday night.
     
He was examined by Red Sox doctors in Boston Saturday morning, then traveled to Vail, Colo., Saturday and was examined by Dr. Thomas
Clanton, who concurred with the original diagnosis.
     
"He does have a compression fracture,'' Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "That means it's non-displaced. At the same time, we feel like he'll return this year. He's in a boot now for the time being, but we feel like he'll back to us before the [regular season's] out.''
     
Farrell said the plan is for Ellsbury to keep the boot on for five days.
     
"After that,'' said Farrell, "we'll see how he responds to treatment and how he's feeling himself.''
     
Ellsbury had plans to return to Boston Sunday and remain there while the Red Sox travel to Florida for three games at Tropicana Field
against Tampa Bay.
     
He'll be re-examined later this week.
     
Ellsbury leads all of baseball with 52 stolen bases and has been  caught just four times all season -- just twice by a catcher. He's scored a team-high 89 runs and his .355 on-base percentage is third among regulars on the team behind only David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia.
     
"Knowing Jaocby,'' said Jarrod Saltalamacchia, "he's going to do  what he can to try and play. I'm not a trainer or a doctor, so I don't know what they've told him or what his decision is, but I know that he wants to be out there.
     
"At the same time, we've got a lot of guys in this clubhouse that can pick him up," Saltalamacchia said. "You don't want to use anybody like Jacoby, but we've just got to continue to fight and do what we do.''      

"We'll have to pick up the slack,'' Pedroia said. "He's a huge part of our lineup and team. Guys are going to have to step; we will.''
     
The compression fracture is similar to the ones suffered by Pedroia and Jason Varitek in the same mid-season series in San Francisico in 2010. Pedroia missed most of the remainder of the season, but his break was worse.
     
"I've talked to him about it,'' said Pedroia. "Mine was a little different, but same area. It's something you can't mess with. You've got
to make sure that you take care of it and you're able to play and run and not be sore the next day.''
     
While Pedroia remained in a boot for weeks and couldn't put any pressure on the foot in the immediate aftermath of the injury, it's a
positive sign for the outfielder and the team that Ellsbury played anadditional seven games before being sidelined.
     
"I talked to him when he did,'' said Pedroia. "He was asking me about it, because it was kind of the same area. I just told him, 'When I did mine,
I couldn't walk right away, so it's a good sign that you are able to go run and do things.' But we've got to get him better. He's a huge part of what we do.''     

"Hopefully,'' said Jon Lester, "he's a quick healer and he'll be back soon for us.''
     
In Ellsbury's absence, the Sox expect to mostly use Shane Victorino in  center field and in the leadoff spot. Other options in center include Jackie Bradley Jr. and Quintin Berry.