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Ellsbury on DL; no timetable for return

The injured Jacoby Ellsbury was on hand Saturday to pick up awards from last season. The injured Jacoby Ellsbury was on hand Saturday to pick up awards from last season. (Barry Chin/Globe Staff)
By Michael Vega
Globe Staff / April 15, 2012
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The Red Sox placed Jacoby Ellsbury on the 15-day disabled list Saturday after the 28-year-old center fielder suffered a subluxation of his right shoulder in Friday’s Opening Day romp over the Rays at Fenway Park.

The Sox would not say how long Ellsbury would be out, but this kind of an injury typically requires 6-8 weeks.

In a statement, the team said only, “We are in the process of gathering further information and determining the treatment plan.’’

Manager Bobby Valentine said, “We’ll try to get him back as soon as possible with the best possible care known to man. I haven’t heard the word ‘surgery’ mentioned, but like I said, whatever the best possible care is, that’s what he’ll get.’’

Ellsbury, who was examined Friday night at Massachusetts General Hospital and underwent an MRI, met with Valentine before Saturday’s game.

“He obviously didn’t sleep much, and he’s obviously disappointed,’’ Valentine said.

With Carl Crawford’s return from offseason left wrist surgery now stymied by a strained left elbow, the Red Sox called up outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin from Pawtucket.

Cody Ross, who moved over from left field to center when Ellsbury was injured Friday, started Saturday in center, and shortstop Mike Aviles replaced Ellsbury at the top of the order. Aviles had a career .318 average in the leadoff spot going into the game.

Ellsbury sent out a message via Twitter Saturday morning, saying, “Thx for all the well wishes. Subluxed my right shoulder in yesterday’s game. No timetable set, working hard to get back as soon as possible.’’

A shoulder subluxation is defined as a temporary, partial dislocation of the shoulder joint, which is held into the socket of the shoulder blade by a group of ligaments.

Symptoms include a looseness in the joint, pain, and weakness or numbness in the shoulder or arm.

The injury is typically treated with ice packs and anti-inflammatories. Shoulder strengthening exercises are an important part of treatment. If there continues to be subluxation and pain, surgery may be required.

In 2003, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter missed 36 games after he suffered a similar injury in an Opening Day collision with Toronto catcher Ken Huckaby.

Ellsbury was hurt during a hard slide into second as he attempted to break up a double play. He slid underneath Reid Brignac, rolled on his stomach with his right arm outstretched, and took the full weight of the 190-pound Brignac on his shoulder.

“You can’t even get mad at Brignac for that,’’ said Aviles. “I mean, you think of it as a middle infielder, and he said the 100 percent truth: We’re taught to catch the ball, throw, jump up, and leave your feet, because if he stays on that bag, he might be the one with a broken knee or something wrong with your leg.

“Jacoby was coming in hard, just like he was taught, and there was nothing dirty about the play. It was just an unfortunate incident. You’re taught to get rid of the ball, use the bag, jump up, and it just so happened that he ended up landing on Jacoby, which was right near the base.

“The worst thing about it is that there’s nothing Jacoby could’ve done and there’s nothing Reid could’ve done. It was a clean play and it was just an unfortunate result out of the entire thing.

“Jacoby’s a tough kid, and whenever you see him in the kind of pain he was in, you knew that something was wrong.

“We were hoping for the best, but unfortunately he’ll be out for a little bit, I guess. Hopefully he’ll have a speedy recovery and get back as soon as possible.’’

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