Jacoby Ellsbury will be out of the Boston Red Sox lineup indefinitely with a lingering injury to his right foot.
Doctors have yet to determine if it’s a deep bone bruise or possibly a season-ending fracture. An MRI this morning revealed swelling and inflammation of the navicular bone. Ellsbury is currently wearing a walking boot and will be undergoing additional examinations and consultations with other medical professionals. A bone bruise would likely mean he would only be out of actionf or a few weeks.
Duston Pedroia fractured that some bone in 2010 and was on the shelf for most of the season.
Ellsbury, the team’s center fielder and leadoff hitter, fouled a ball of his right foot on August 28 and has been in increasing pain since then. He aggravated the injury Thursday night when he stole second base in the 10th inning of the Sox eventual win over the New York Yankees.
Ells, a free-agent-to-be, is having a great season, currently hitting.299 with 52 stolen bases (the most in the American League) and a.355 OBP.
Red Sox Manager John Farrell said that the situation is not just day to day and there’s no timetable until more medical information comes in. He added that “Let’s not kid ourselves. Jacoby Ellsbury in the leadoff spot, with the stolen-base ability, the talent that he has — this is a guy we’re going to miss for the time being that he will be out.” He noted that Ellsbury wants to play through the soreness right now, but the team is being very cautious.
General Manager Ben Cherington commented that “I know [Ellsbury] wants to play, and we obviously want him to play. That’s still our hope, that he’ll be playing before too long.” Cherington also claimed that Ellsbury could theoretically play with a fracture, depending upon its severity.
In the meantime, Jackie Bradley Jr. has been called up to play center field. Right fielder Shane Victorino will share playing time in center field with Bradley as well as taking over as leadoff hitter at least temporarily.
As a team, the Red Sox — with a roster mix of stars and role players — are on an incredible streak: 54 runs, 17, homers, and 64 hits in the last four games. This included a 20-run, eight home run victory over the Detroit Tigers Wednesday night and followed by three consecutive victories over the Yankees. The Sox go for the sweep in the Bronx tomorrow afternoon. The Sox are the first visiting team in more than 100 years to score nine or more runs against the Yankees on three consecutive days.