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Another bad break for Ellsbury

New fracture sets back return date

By Amalie Benjamin
Globe Staff / June 11, 2010

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CLEVELAND — Jacoby Ellsbury was on his way to Phoenix yesterday, a day after being examined by Dr. Lewis Yocum at the Kerlan-Jobe clinic in Los Angeles, and isn’t likely to be in Boston any time soon. The center fielder will spend at least two weeks at Athletes’ Performance resting and rehabbing after doctors found a new fracture in his ribs.

“An MRI of Jacoby’s thoracic spine and posterior rib area, recommended by us jointly, revealed a non-displaced rib fracture and edema in the left posterior-axillary line,’’ read a statement released by Dr. Yocum and team medical director Tom Gill. “This fracture, which is in a different area than the initial fractures and which was not present on previous scans, is likely the result of a new injury which occurred when Jacoby dove and impacted the ground during his brief return to play. Jacoby will require several weeks of rest and physical therapy.’’

Ellsbury, who was initially injured in a collision with Adrian Beltre in Kansas City April 11, returned for three games against Philadelphia and Tampa Bay in May. It was May 23 against the Phillies when Ellsbury made a diving catch that apparently triggered the new issues, though Ellsbury has said he did not believe he reinjured himself on that play.

Ellsbury played the next night, then felt something during swings in the cage on a scheduled day off. He has not played since, and this week went to Los Angeles to be examined at the request of agent Scott Boras.

“A lot of this is going to go on how he feels,’’ said manager Terry Francona when asked when Ellsbury will start baseball activities again. “Love for him to wake up one day, say, ‘I feel brand new.’ I don’t know if that’s going to happen. We’ll listen to what they say and listen to what he says and try to do the best we can.’’

Ellsbury will not do anything baseball-related while at Athletes’ Performance, focusing instead on “rest, therapy, rehab,’’ Francona said. While no timelines were put on Ellsbury’s return, it appears very likely he won’t be back until after the All-Star break.

“There’s been some down time,’’ Francona said. “He needs to get the therapy, but he also needs to try to get in shape and get stronger, have some people that will keep an eye on him where he can do everything.’’

Pedroia waking up?
Dustin Pedroia collected hits in each of his first two at-bats but the second baseman is coming off a rough stretch. Before last night, Pedroia was hitless in his last 15 at-bats and was hitting .167 over his last 19 games.

“I think his knee’s bothering him probably more than he lets on,’’ Francona said, referring to a knee injury Pedroia sustained May 15 in Detroit. It was the first time the manager had acknowledged the knee as a potential reason for the downturn in Pedroia’s offense.

“You know what makes him good, which is the drive and the determination,’’ Francona said. “He wants to carry the club. That’s why he’s good.’’

After last night’s game, Pedroia acknowledged the knee has been hurting. He also said he wasn’t interested in taking any days off.

“Little bit. I mean, my knee hurts,’’ Pedroia said. “It’ll be fine. I don’t weigh that much, so I don’t have to carry around a lot of weight. I’ll find a way to play through it. I always do. . . . It’ll get better. I’ll heal while I play. I’ve got to get out there and help us win. That’s my job.’’

Papelbon set to return
Jonathan Papelbon, who has been away since Monday, will be activated today from the bereavement/family medical emergency list. . . . Jeremy Hermida, who was also injured in a collision with Beltre Friday night against the Orioles, will be reexamined when the team returns to Boston today. He was sore yesterday after playing Wednesday night. The Sox had intended to start him against Mitch Talbot, but decided against it when Hermida reported being tender yesterday. “I don’t think there’s a lot of concern on his part,’’ Francona said . . . Manny Delcarmen pitched a scoreless inning with three strikeouts in his first appearance since suffering from a stiff back over the weekend . . . David Ortiz has been struggling lately, with just three hits in 33 at-bats in June. “I don’t think he was going to stay at that [May] clip throughout the whole year. I think it’s impossible,’’ Francona said. “I just don’t know that you can hit at a .370 clip all year.’’ . . . Kevin Youkilis came out of last night’s game before the bottom of the seventh because of a mild back spasm. He was replaced by Mike Lowell. “I think he’s had it from time to time,’’ Francona said. “Just made a move on the field, when he was running down to first and he felt it. It was getting tighter and tighter. Just don’t want to do something that costs him multiple games.’’ . . . The Sox have allowed 19 runs in their last two games, after having allowed 18 over their previous six . . . Daisuke Matsuzaka completed his side session, after having it abbreviated Wednesday because of illness . . . Don Orsillo did not do play-by-play for last night’s game on NESN because he was under the weather, according to a team spokesperson. Jon Rish took over his duties.

Amalie Benjamin can be reached at abenjamin@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @amaliebenjamin.

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