UPDATE: Wednesday, Mar. 27, at 10:12 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
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UPDATE: Monday, Mar. 25, at 12:59 p.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
Great news for Red Sox fans as Jacoby Ellsbury has avoided a serious ankle injury, according to WEEI's Alex Speier.
Jacoby Ellsbury, who rolled his ankle on Sunday and was removed from the game against the Phillies for precautionary reasons, did not take part in baseball activities on Monday, thus giving him back-to-back days off (with the Sox having a scheduled off-day on Tuesday). But the outfielder said that he’s fine, and that he expects to play on Wednesday.
'Got a workout in, saw the training staff. We’ll be alright,' said Ellsbury. '[Playing Wednesday] would hopefully be the plan.'
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Alex Speier of WEEI's Full Count blog originally reported the news:
Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury was removed from Sunday's game in the top of the second inning, one inning after he appeared to jam his right ankle while making a somewhat awkward semi-slide into the first base bag on a catcher's pickoff attempt. Ellsbury, who had reached on catcher's interference, initially stayed in the game and even attempted a steal of second base, where he was gunned down on his first official attempt of the spring. He also played center in the bottom of the first.
For all of Ellsbury's immense talent, injuries are a constant concern for the outfielder. He played just 74 games last year and has missed 236 games over the past three seasons.
When healthy, he is one of the game's most dynamic players. In 2011, he was a bona fide MVP candidate after hitting .321 with 32 home runs, 105 RBI, 119 runs scored and 39 stolen bases. He led quite a few fantasy baseball owners to championships that year.
But an injury in the spring is a bad sign for Ellsbury, the Red Sox and potential fantasy owners, especially if it is serious and necessitates a trip to the disabled list.
The Red Sox have a much different look in the lineup this year—having Ellsbury atop it is vital for the team. Gone are offensive threats like Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Kevin Youkilis, replaced by the likes of Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino.
This is no longer the 2011 lineup that led the American League in runs and RBI, was second in team batting average and third in home runs. For that reason alone, Ellsbury's production at the top of the batting order is one of the keys for this Red Sox season.
The hope will be that Ellsbury's injury isn't anything more severe than a slight sprain. Red Sox Nation holds its breath.