BOSTON — John Farrell, Ben Cherington and Scott Boras have all expressed confidence that Jacoby Ellsbury will return before the postseason. We can now add the man himself to that list.
“Very confident,” Ellsbury said Wednesday when asked how confident he is about returning before the playoffs. “Doctor’s happy with my progress.”
Wednesday marked the first time that Ellsbury spoke with the media since being diagnosed with a navicular bone fracture in his right foot. The 30-year-old expressed both a desire to get back on the field and optimism about the progress he has made thus far.
“I’m definitely dying to get back out there,” Ellsbury told reporters. ”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.”
Ellsbury suffered the injury while fouling a ball off his foot during the Red Sox’ Aug. 28 game against the Orioles. He initially played through the injury, but then aggravated it while stealing second base in the 10th inning of a game in New York on Sept. 5. An MRI later revealed the non-displaced fracture.
While there was initially some debate as to whether Ellsbury might have made matters worse by playing through the injury, the Boston Herald reported that the outfielder did not exacerbate the fracture by playing. In fact, Ellsbury isn’t focused on that aspect of the injury at all. Instead, he remains more focused on the future.
“I just know that moving forward that once it does heal there’ll be no issue moving forward. So it’s going to be a full recovery. [I] won’t see any lingering effects and I’ll be good to go,” Ellsbury said. “I wanted to play first and foremost. I know we’re in a playoff race. So when I heard the news, they were surprised that I was playing with it for that long. That’s what surprised them. But like I said, I’ve got great information, the doctors have done a tremendous job, so [I'm] very hopeful that I’ll be back to playing as soon as possible.”
Ellsbury is hitting .299 with eight home runs, 52 RBIs and 52 stolen bases. While there’s no exact timetable for his return, he’ll certainly be a welcome addition to the Red Sox’ lineup when healthy.