2010 has been a rough year for Jacoby Ellsbury, but things are looking up. He is on the verge of returning to the Boston Red Sox active roster, and he took care of some early Christmas shopping by grabbing a few of his bobbleheads when they were handed out on Saturday night at McCoy Stadium.
“It will be good for the holidays – I’ll give them to my family members and they can do whatever they want with them,” Jacoby told me with a grin. “I think the bobblehead looks pretty good.”
(photo courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)
So does Ellsbury. In two rehab games with the PawSox, the 26-year-old outfielder is 4-for-9 with 2 runs scored. He was scheduled to have his injured ribs examined in Boston on Monday, and according to WEEI’s Alex Speier, will play at least one more rehab game with Pawtucket on Tuesday before being reevaluated on Wednesday.
“I’m getting anxious,” Ellsbury said. “It’s fun when you’re getting close, and I don’t think I’m too far away.”
It’s been 16 weeks since Jacoby collided in the outfield with Adrian Beltre and fractured four ribs on April 11th. He knows that some people are questioning his toughness.
“You can’t let that get to you,” Ellsbury told me. “Anybody that knows me – my teammates, my coaches – they know how hard that I play. In the past I haven’t missed many games and I play all-out. The naysayers don’t really bother me at all – they just motivate me more. Deep down, if you’re comfortable with yourself that is all that really matters.
“At first, the pain was so bad that it was tough to sleep,” Ellsbury told me. “I couldn’t laugh or sneeze. Just taking a deep breath would give me a sharp pain in there. I think anybody that’s had one broken rib knows what I’m talking about. It’s getting better – most of those pains are gone. It’s just managing it now. It’s manageable now and I’m just excited to be on the field and playing.”
Ellsbury still isn’t pain-free, but says he’s confident that he’s not going to have another setback.
“It’s something I’ll have to manage and be smart about it,” Jacoby said. “The doctors feel safe that I can play without making the situation any worse. I’ll play with any discomfort that I have.
“It’s tough because you want to be with your team. This is what I’ve done for a long time and injuries are tough for anybody – especially athletes. Our bodies are our livelihood and as bad as you want to get out there and get on the field, you sometimes have to let your body heal. It doesn’t have to be 100%, but you want it to be at a point where you’re not going to jeopardize your career and possibly hurt the team. It’s a fine line.”
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