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Jacoby Ellsbury starts baseball activities; Shane Victorino’s scratch not raising long-term concerns

09.20.13 at 6:08 pm ET
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Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, out since Sept. 5 due to a non-displaced fracture of the navicular bone in his right foot, started baseball activities for the first time since he was diagnosed with his injury. On Friday afternoon, he swung off a tee and threw on the field. The next steps of his rehab have yet to be determined.

“A positive step,” manager John Farrell said of Ellsbury. “How quickly those activities will ramp up has yet to be determined. He’€™s begun them.”

Ellsbury is hitting .299 with a .355 OBP and .424 slugging mark along with an American League-leading 52 steals in 56 attempts in 131 games this year. Both he and the team have expressed optimism that he will be able to return to games before the conclusion of the regular season.

In Ellsbury’s absence, Shane Victorino originally had been listed in the starting lineup in center field, but he was scratched after hitting in the batting cage several hours before Friday’s game.

“There’€™s still a little bit of soreness in that thumb. We’€™re trying to find the right construction of a pad for that. Went through some adjustments with the pad, went back down to hit, felt great, tried to talk his way back into the lineup but felt like it was probably the right thing to keep him out for another day,” said Farrell.

The Sox manager said that he expected that Victorino would have to continue dealing with discomfort in his thumb for the duration of the season, just as he has played through various back, hamstring and hip woes. Still, Farrell remained optimistic that the thumb issue “isn’t something that’s going to keep [Victorino] out for a long period of time.”

There may be some hint of a silver lining in the matter, as Victorino has had the opportunity to get additional rest for some of the core injuries that he’s managed throughout the year. Indeed, Farrell noted that those injuries had already showed signs of subsiding while the outfielder remained on the field.

“They’€™ve become less and less, even with everyday play,” said Farrell. “He’€™s moving past the low back and hamstring issues that he battled through and then I think with the way the schedule lines up with a couple of days in the schedule next week he’€™ll be able to take advantage of that as well. He’€™ll be fine.”

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