For the first time since Sept. 5, Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, recovering from a fracture in his right foot, was made available to the media. He spoke for four minutes.
Here's a transcript:
"How are you doing? "Taking it day by day. Working to get back on the field."
What kind of baseball activities have you done? "The docs, they've laid out a plan for me each day that I come in. Each day I basically have a plan that I have to execute. I'm basically following doc's orders pretty close. Each day I come in and try to push through those."
How confident are you that you will be back for the playoffs? "Very confident. Everybody's excited. The docs are just happy with my progress."
What are some of the things you are doing? "Doing a lot of different things as far as ... I don't want to get into details on everything that I'm doing. Getting here early. Just following the plan that the docs have set in place. Like I said, the docs are very pleased how fast I'm going recovering from this."
Do you expect to return during the regular season? "You know, we're hopeful that I'll be back playing. I feel very confident I'm making quick progress."
Can you come back for the regular season? "Just following the doc's orders on what he has in store for me. Each day I come in and try to push the envelope even with them trying to get back on the field."
Has the team being close to clinching altered that plan? "It's been the same thing. The docs have put me on a fast track as far as a plan getting back as quick as possible. At the same time just getting out there and playing like I can. I keep on telling them, I'm trying to push the envelope with them. They always have to tell me slow down, it does take time. But I'm very hopeful I'll be back playing soon."
How much game action would you need to be ready for the playoffs? "You know, I'm not real sure. Right I'm focused on getting back to the team. Right now it's been fun watching them play. But I'm definitely dying to get back out there."
On the injury: "I played seven games after I fractured it. I played seven games. Definitely trying to be in there as long as I could. The docs basically had to pull me out, saying, 'You've got to let this thing rest. Give it time.' "
You saw several teammates have this same injury and miss time. How alarming was it to hear you had the same thing? "(Laughs). I mean, yeah, when I did it, kind of deep down, I knew something was going on. But I really didn't want to get ... I wanted to play. It was just one of those things where the docs were like, 'You got to give this thing some rest. You can't push through this. You've got to give it time.' But I'm very excited with the progress I've made. The doctors are very optimistic about making a comeback plan."
When you jammed your foot stealing a base on (Sept. 5) did you have any sense whether you did further damage or just sort of aggravated it? "You know, I just know moving forward that once it does heal there will be no issue moving forward. It's going to be a full recovery and you won't see any lingering effects and I'll be good to go."
Any question about whether you should have played those seven games? "I wanted to play, first and foremost. I knew we were in a playoff race. So when I heard the news, they were surprised I was playing with it for that long. That's what surprised them. But, like I said, I've got great information. The docs are doing, they've done a tremendous job. I'm very hopeful I'm back playing as soon as possible.
With that, Ellsbury walked away. He was not in a walking boot.
According to a Red Sox spokesman, the "docs" or "doctors" Ellsbury referenced 11 times are Dr. Thomas Clanton, the Colorado-based specialist he saw and Red Sox doctor George Theodore.
Sox manager John Farrell was asked whether he had any updates about when Ellsbury would start baseball-type workouts.
"I don't have a specific date for that, no," Farrell said. "He'll begin them when he's ready to begin them. There's going to be further progression from the physical side of things now that he's come out of the boot. He's wearing that supportive insole in the right shoe. Progress is clearly being made and he'll be back on the field when he's ready."
Farrell was asked whether it was imperative that Ellsbury play in the regular season before playing in the Division Series.
"I think we're all envisioning him being back on the field before the regular season has concluded," the manager said. "I think it would go a long way in Jake getting some timing, some recent at-bats and all that. That won't be the driving force in him getting back on the field. His readiness will be."
Farrell said the medical reports suggest Ellsbury should return in the regular season, which after tonight has nine games remaining.