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Red Sox Notebook

Ellsbury: no surgery needed

By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / April 19, 2012
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Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury said Wednesday that he does not need surgery on his partially dislocated right shoulder and will return this season.

But Ellsbury does not to know when that return might be.

“We’re icing, doing a lot of icing to get the swelling out,’’ he said. “Once the swelling [subsides], I can start getting into exercises and that sort of thing with the shoulder. As far as the timeline, we don’t have one right now.’’

Ellsbury had not spoken to reporters since he was injured while trying to break up a double play Friday against the Rays. Tampa Bay shortstop Reid Brignac was upended on the play and landed on Ellsbury’s shoulder.

“I looked at it one time, and once was enough for me,’’ said Ellsbury. “Just kind of wanted to see exactly what happened.

“I had a pretty good understanding. Two guys going hard and playing the game the right way.’’

Ellsbury was wearing a sling when he attended a promotional event Wednesday morning at Fenway Park. During his afternoon interview session, which he cut off after three minutes and 30 seconds, Ellsbury kept his arm pressed against his chest, as though in a sling.

“We ruled it out,’’ he said of surgery. “As of right now, I’m focused on getting my work in and getting back as soon as possible.

“I’ll be playing this year, hopefully sooner than later.’’

Once the swelling decreases, doctors should have a better idea of how much the shoulder was damaged.

Ellsbury said there has not been any discussion about where he would do the bulk of his rehabilitation work. In 2010, when he suffered fractured ribs, Ellsbury left the team for several weeks and rehabbed at a private facility near his home in Arizona.

He was careful to say several times that he was “on the same page’’ as the team when it came to his treatment.

“You’ve got to stay positive,’’ he said. “There’s never a good time for an injury. I’ll definitely be back playing. The team, as of late, has been playing great. I’m excited for them to continue to play well.’’

Melancon demoted

It came as no surprise that the Red Sox optioned righthanded reliever Mark Melancon to Triple A Pawtucket. He had a 49.50 earned run average in four appearances.

Melancon did not get an out in the eighth inning against Texas Tuesday night, putting six runners on base and allowing three home runs. Of the 18 batters he has faced this season, 12 have reached base and 11 have scored. He has allowed five home runs.

“Mark just has to be the pitcher that he is,’’ said manager Bobby Valentine. “He struggled with his command. He’s a great command pitcher and thus far he hasn’t had it.

“Don’t feel he’d have the opportunity here to work through it. He was anxious to get an opportunity to work more regularly so he could get back to where he belongs.’’

Melancon did not have a strong spring training, but the Red Sox hoped he would regain the form that saw him save 20 games and post a 2.78 ERA for the Astros last season.

“He was so close, I thought,’’ Valentine said. “As we talked together, his last three outings [in spring training], none of them were as clean as we really wanted, as he really wanted.

“Never quite had the perfect outing.’’

Melancon, Valentine said, assured the Sox he was not injured.

Righthander Junichi Tazawa was recalled from Pawtucket, where he had made four scoreless relief appearances and struck out nine over seven innings.

Tazawa, 25, is 2-3 with a 7.31 ERA in nine career appearances in the majors.

Line ’em up

The Red Sox have Clay Buchholz, Felix Doubront, and Daniel Bard lined up to face the Yankees this weekend. They would face, respectively, Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia, and CC Sabathia. But with the team off Thursday, Valentine indicated that he could have Jon Lester start Sunday on regular rest. Lester pitched two-plus innings on Tuesday against Texas, throwing 80 pitches.

Come on in

The Red Sox are hosting a free “Open House’’ at Fenway Park on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fans may enter any gate and view historical artifacts, memorabilia, and new displays, or just tour the park. Fans will be allowed to walk on the warning track, sit in the dugouts, see the bullpens up close, touch the Green Monster, and peek into the scoreboard booth inside the historic left field wall. A host of former Red Sox players, including Frank Malzone, John Tudor, Bernie Carbo, and Oil Can Boyd will sign autographs in the State Street Pavilion. The event will take place rain or shine.

Rehab updates

Andrew Miller has made five minor league rehabilitation outings as he recovers from a strained left hamstring suffered in spring training. But the Red Sox want to see at least one more, and he is scheduled to pitch for Pawtucket Thursday . . . Carl Crawford was 1 for 3 with a walk and a home run in an extended spring training game in Fort Myers, Fla. He was the designated hitter, his strained left elbow still not ready for outfield play . . . Rich Hill had his appearance with Single A Salem rained out. He will try again Thursday . . . Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is coming back from elbow surgery, will be around the team for a few days. He will consult with the trainers on his next step and throw a bullpen session for Valentine and pitching coach Bob McClure. Matsuzaka threw more than 60 pitches in his latest extended spring game.

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