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BOSTON (CBS) – No one is really 100-percent healthy at this point of the baseball season, but the Red Sox have some big-name injuries that will cause concern heading into the final stretch of the season.
The good news is it sounds like Boston will be getting some of those big names back very soon.
Centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury was diagnosed with a back contusion after being hit by a pitch Friday in Kansas City. He did not play in the final two games against the Royals, but could return as soon as Monday when Boston starts a key series against the Rangers in Texas.
“It doesn’t look like it’s a big deal,” the Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich Monday morning. “If it starts lingering past (Monday) and becomes one of those things like last year where it’s something that didn’t look like a big deal becomes a big deal, then obviously it’s a huge issue. This is a guy that’s been an MVP candidate, their leadoff hitter, centerfielder and having the best year of his career by far.”
Ellsbury is second on the team in both home runs (22) and batting average (.313) and tied with David Ortiz for second most RBI (79).
Gallery: Red Sox On The DL
Ortiz himself has also been battling an injury, suffering from a case of bursitis in his right heel. The Red Sox DH was placed in a protective boot, but manager Terry Francona said a DL stint was unlikely for Ortiz. Over the weekend, he started hitting off a tee and soft toss. While Ortiz remains in the boot, a return at the end of the Texas series is possible.
“I think there’s a chance. It might not be until the last game or second to last game, but he’s made a lot of progress over the last 36-hours,” said Abraham.
“He needs to get out on the field (Monday) to run around a bit and see how he feels,” he added.
Ortiz leads the Red Sox with 24 home runs this season.
While the news looks good on Ellsbury and Pedroia, there is no update on third baseman Kevin Youkilis, who was placed on the disabled list August 18 with a bad back. It was something Youkilis had been dealing with for a while, and the injury flared up enough that a trip to the DL was needed.
Red Sox reliever Bobby Jenks, on the disabled list for the third time this season, will test his bad back on Monday. The righty is scheduled to throw between 20 and 30 pitches in a simulated game at the Red Sox complex in Fort Myers, Florida.