By Sean McAdam
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- It may have been only a matter of semantics, but Terry Francona and Theo Epstein seemed to give different updates on Jacoby Ellsbury as he comes back from the broken ribs which sidelined him for all but three weeks in 2010.
In the afternoon, when asked about Ellsbury's progress, Francona noted that in a conversation a few weeks ago, the outfielder told him he "still feels it in the back.''
But hours later, Epstein indicated otherwise.
"He was ruled asymptomatic a couple of weeks ago,'' said Epstein. "I'm sure there are still come things he can do that create soreness, with rotation and whatnot. But I think that's normal.
"My understanding is that the fracture of a rib like this will still show up like a slight line on a scan for another couple of months. But that's a natural part of the process. You're actually healed before the line will completely disappear on the scan. He's been asymptomatic and very enthused about where he is in the offseason, getting ready for a normal season.
Ellsbury is in Arizona, training at Athlete's Performance Institute (API), as he would usually do in the winter.
"I think he's still tailoring his workouts for what he went through,'' said Epstein, "which is smart. He's not rushing it. The rotational stuff is where you can really feel the rib cage-area. I think he's easing into that, which makes sense.''