‘All signs point to’ Ellsbury returning on Friday

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said tonight that “all signs point to” Jacoby Ellsbury rejoining the team for Friday night’s game against Tampa Bay.

Ellsbury needs only to get through tonight’s workout and tomorrow’s batting practice healthy. It’s worth noting that Ellsbury was set to come off the DL at Tropicana Field in June of 2010 and was re-injured during batting practice.

Ellsbury has been out since April 13 with a partially dislocated right (non-throwing) shoulder.

Ellsbury would not stop to speak to reporters after tonight’s workout at Tropicana Field.



• Will Middlebrooks, who has missed seven games with a strained left hamstring, is on the field taking grounders and expects to play on Friday.

• Adrian Gonzalez, who was pulled out of Sunday’s game because of illness, feels better and is ready to go.

• Dustin Pedroia had the cast off his right thumb and hit in the cage this afternoon and will take BP on the field. “I feel great,” he said. “I heal quick. Like I said, I’m a lizard.” Ben Cherington said Pedroia could return when he is eligible, which would be July 19.

• The team workout is optional. David Ortiz, who was in the All-Star Game, was told not to bother and take the day off. Josh Beckett, Aaron Cook and Vicente Padilla were the only other players not to attend.

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