For the first time since leaving the team to rehab his broken ribs in Arizona, Jacoby Ellsbury spoke at length about the sequence of events that led to his decision to spend five weeks away from the Red Sox.
With the help of a set of torn-out notebook pages scribbled with the chronology of the incidents, Ellsbury explained what were several discrepancies in the statements of the team’s medical staff and his own account.
Ellsbury said that the set of MRI’s done after his initial injury in Kansas City on April 11 were not the type that he and agent Scott Boras had requested when he arrived to undergo the tests. He said although he asked for the tests to be run on both his front and back, the tests that were run showed only four broken ribs in the front.
“My understanding was when I went in there, I specifically asked for, and this is 12 days after the injury, I specifically asked for a front MRI and a back MRI,” Ellsbury said. “That’s what I was under the impression. They told me, ‘Hey, don’t worry. We’re going to cover all the areas. We’re going to cover more.'”
In early June, Ellsbury, under the direction of Boras, sought the opinion of Dr. Lewis Yocum after the pain in his back persisted and a new discomfort in his side surfaced during a batting practice session just a few days after his return.
The tests done by Yocum revealed that Ellsbury had a broken rib in his back, and that contrary to what the Red Sox medical staff had said, the new injury was not a product of a diving catch Ellsbury made against Philadelphia on May 22, but was actually a result of the same collision with Beltre that originally broke the four ribs in the front.
Throughout Ellsbury’s absence, questions have been raised about everything from his toughness to his loyalty. Yesterday, Kevin Youkilis said that he would have liked for Ellsbury to have been with the club supporting his teammates. Ellsbury responded to a question about Youkilis’ comments by saying that felt like he did nothing that hadn’t been approved by the Sox.
“I got the Red Sox’s blessing when I went there,” Ellsbury said. “I was in constant contact with my teammates, constant contact with the medical staff, the trainers, everybody.
Obviously, in the best-case scenario, I’d like to be back with my teammates, but for me to get better, the Red Sox thought it would be best for me to go out to Arizona. I talked to them today, and they said, ‘We back you 100 percent. That’s what we thought was best for you, getting you back playing and being productive.'”