NEW YORK — Jacoby Ellsbury has been diagnosed with a compression fracture in his right foot. But according to Red Sox manager John Farrell, the team’s leadoff hitter and center fielder should be back before the end of the regular season.
“We feel like he’ll return this year,” Farrell said Sunday after a 4-3 loss against the Yankees. “We’re hopeful the regular season.”
A specialist, Dr. Thomas Clanton, examined Ellsbury at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colo., on Sunday. He confirmed the original diagnosis of a fracture in the navicular bone.
Ellsbury will wear a boot to take weight off his foot for at least five days.
“After that we’ll see how he responds to treatment and how he’s feeling himself,” Farrell said.
Ellsbury is hitting .299 with eight home runs, 52 RBIs and a major-league leading 52 stolen bases. His leads the Sox with 89 runs.
The injury happened Aug. 28 when Ellsbury fouled a ball off his foot. He came out of the game an inning later but returned to the lineup the next day and played seven of the next eight games.
Ellsbury aggravated the injury when he stole second base in the 10th inning on Thursday night. Dustin Pedroia had a more severe type of the same injury in 2010 and required surgery.
“We’ll have to pick up the slack. He’s a big part of our lineup and our team,” Pedroia said.
Pedroia has spoken to Ellsbury about the injury and counseled him to be patient.
“It’s something you don’t mess with. You have to make sure you take care of it and you’re able to play and run and not be sore the next day,” Pedroia said.
That Ellsbury was able to play after the initial fracture suggests the injury is something he could recover quickly from. But he was out for an extended period in 2010 because of fractured ribs and again in 2012 because of a separated shoulder.
• The Red Sox will stay with a five-man rotation. Lefthander Felix Doubront, who has a 6.60 ERA in his last six starts, will be skipped for at least one turn with Clay Buchholz coming back. Ryan Dempster will start Wednesday and Jake Peavy on Thursday.
“I have no problem with that,” said Doubront, who is 10-6 with a 4.15 ERA on the season. “I’ll get some rest, do my work and that’s that. This time it’s good. I feel like I need it.”