BOSTON (CBS) – Jacoby Ellsbury is expected to rejoin the Red Sox after the All-Star break, returning to a Sox’ outfield riddled with injuries.

Ellsbury got the start in center field for the Pawtucket Red Sox on Sunday, going 1-for-4 at the plate with a run scored. In seven rehab games, Ellsbury went 5-for-23 with two doubles, a home run, five runs scored and three RBI.

Last year’s MVP runner-up will continue to work out at Fenway over the All-Star break, and manager Bobby Valentine is expecting to have him for the Red Sox’ three-game set with the Rays in St. Petersburg.

Injured left fielder Carl Crawford is also nearing a return, despite suffering a setback over the weekend, and could be back when Boston opens a four-game set with the White Sox at Fenway July 16.

On Sunday, Crawford said he tweaked his groin while legging out a triple Thursday night for the Portland Sea Dogs. He took the weekend off from game action, but ran both days and said he was feeling good. Crawford is expected to play for Pawtucket on Thursday and said he is “real close” to a return.

“At this point, I’m just ready to get back on the field,” Crawford said Sunday evening.

Crawford On Groin Injury, Return: 

With Clay Buchholz also set to rejoin the Red Sox against Tampa, they feel a playoff run isn’t out of the question with their injured stars finally returning.

“We feel like we can still make a run at it,” said Crawford. “That new wild card has made it possible for teams to make it late in the season. Hopefully that’s the case for us.”


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