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Ellsbury has fractures; Dice-K set to join rotation

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  April 22, 2010 04:20 PM

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Terry Francona revealed today that after undergoing his first CT scan since injuring his ribs in a collision with Adrian Beltre in Kansas City on April 11th, Jacoby Ellsbury has hairline fractures on four of his ribs, which accounts for the pain he's been in.

Dr. Thomas Gill was about to be available on a conference call to discuss the issue at 7 p.m.

Francona didn't know whether the new findings will delay his return to the active roster. Ellsbury was placed on the DL April 20, but retroactive to April 12th which would make him eligible for a return to the active roster next Tuesday in Toronto. Francona didn't rule out that Ellsbury could be ready to go.

Francona said that the Sox decided to go beyond X-rays because Ellsbury wasn't "making that last hurdle."

Ellsbury later told reporters that he's the one who requested the CT scan.

"The medical people assured us this is the protocol - you treat the symptoms. But once he wasn't able to play then we needed to go back and do the CT scan. Nothing is displaced. We had four people read the X-rays. When an X-ray comes back negative it means you treat the symptoms. It threw us all for a loop a little bit. It may not even affect his timetable or return. Its going to be all symptomatic and how he feels. I don't know if its realistic (that he returns Tuesday) but I don't know that it's not," Francona said.

Francona is right. Another team source said that unless the X-rays show something you treat the symptoms. Whether they're broken or there's a contusion, there's only one treatment and that's they have to heal on their own.

It's really up to Ellsbury when he gets on the field.

Daisuke Matsuzaka, who has made three rehab starts, will rejoin the Sox rotation on his next turn. Francona said the team will NOT go with with a six-man rotation so one starter will be displaced. Francona was not willing to name that person today.

Tim Wakefield, who is scheduled to pitch Sunday vs. Baltimore, would appear to be a possibility to be ousted from the rotation. Clay Buchholz pitches tonight, but it doesn't appear the Sox want to move him from the rotation unless there are issues tonight.

"Dice will pitch for us. He will be inserted into our rotation," Francona said. "There are a lot of things going on today with meetings. John (Farrell) have not sat down with him (Dice-K) yet. When he pitches and how we get to that, we'll talk to Dice and then we can explain it. We'll get to it because there's a little bit of time before he pitches. We want to make our rotation work with the offday coming up. It's not a big secret but I do want to talk to him and John first.

Francona didn't think the 6-man rotation was a good idea.

"I think you're doing too many starters an injustice. I think in the summer months when you're running into a long stretch, you might be able to do something like that. But I don't think that's something that will work now," the manager said.

"We're just trying to communicate with people in a timely manner. I think there's a time and a place for it.

Francona said that David Ortiz, who will sit for the second straight game, will be in there tomorrow night against the Orioles, who will throw righty Jeremy Guthrie. "If we played David, the guy who the homer last night (Mike Lowell) wouldn't play."

Weather Update: It's almost 6 p.m. and the tarp is on the field, though the rain appears to have stoppped. They're still shooting for an on-time start.

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