BOSTON – Early Tuesday afternoon, right fielder Shane Victorino and center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury worked in the outfield with Red Sox strength coach Mike Boyle.
Victorino has been on the disabled list since May 21 with a left hamstring strain, along with back ailments. Ellsbury has been out since he tweaked his groin Thursday, when he stole five bases, setting a new Sox record, against the Phillies.
Will Middlebrooks, who has been on the DL since May 24, with a low back strain, is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket tonight. He is eligible to be activated on Saturday.
“All are improving,” manager John Farrell said.
Tuesday’s series opener against the Rangers will be the fourth consecutive game Ellsbury has missed. The Red Sox are hopeful he will be back in the lineup on Wednesday.
“Jacoby today was on the field, did some running, some more functional activity,” Farrell said. “We’re hopeful that this takes a complete turn over the next couple of days and that’s not ruling out he’ll being in the lineup tomorrow.
“We got to get him through some functional testing today and then see how he responds to that and how he feels tomorrow. Tomorrow is still a possibility for him to be back in center field.”
Asked if he thought Ellsbury could avoid a stint on the DL, Farrell replied:
“Everything points to that, yes.”
Victorino is eligible to come off the DL on Wednesday. Instead, the Sox are hoping he will get out on a rehab assignment by the end of the week.
“Shane got to about 80 percent intensity today,” Farrell said. “And we’re hopeful he’s out on a rehab assignment some time here before the week is out.”
Middlebrooks is in the PawSox starting lineup, batting third, playing third tonight against Charlotte (White Sox).
“Will is beginning a rehab assignment tonight in Pawtucket,” Farrell said. “We expect him to be there through the end of the week and we’ll reevaluate where things are at that point.”