NEW YORK — Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury has what the Red Sox fear could be a significant injury to his right foot.
Ellsbury was sent back to Boston to be examined by a specialist, Dr. George Theodore, and team orthopedist Dr. Peter Asnis. According to manager John Farrell, an MRI taken this morning showed swelling and inflammation.
The area of concern is a navicular bone. Ellsbury has been outfitted with a walking boot and is out indefinitely.
Ellsbury could soon travel to Colorado to be examined by Dr. Thomas Clanton at the Steadman Clinic in Vail. Or the second opinion could come based on a review of the tests.
"We're still in the process of gathering more information," Farrell said. "We're still going through some additional tests and when that information is more conclusive I think we'll have a better read on the diagnosis going forward.
"I don't think we're looking at something that's just day-to-day here. But before we get into any kind of time frame I think what's probably best for all involved here is to wait until we get more conclusive evidence and information."
The injury originally occurred Aug. 28 when Ellsbury fouled a ball off his foot. Ellsbury came out of the game at the time but returned to the lineup the next day. He aggravated the injury when he stole second base in the 10th inning on Thursday night.
Ellsbury is hitting .299 with eight home runs, 52 RBIs and a major-league leading 52 stolen bases. His 89 runs lead the team.
"Jake's frustrated," Farrell said. "He wants to be on the field. He feels like he can play right now. But at the direction of the medical people, we have to be careful of this. ... I can tell you this: Jacoby wants to be on the field. He's kind of pissed he's not here right now to be honest with you."
The Red Sox called up Jackie Bradley Jr. and are starting him in center field this afternoon. Shane Victorino is batting leadoff.
"We'll probably go day-to-day for the time being," Farrell said.
If Ellsbury is out for the remainder of the season, it would be a significant loss for the Red Sox given his prominent role in the offense and his strong play in center field. The Sox can compensate with Victorino but there will be a gap in the lineup that players like Daniel Nava, Johnny Gomes, Bradley and Mike Carp could fill.
"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," Farrell said. "As we've done with other challenges that we've faced, we'll find a way to make up for it."
Ellsbury will be a free agent after the season. Potentially, if the injury is serious, he may have played his last game for the Red Sox.