In the aftermath of Kevin Youkilis’ back-handed criticism of teammate Jacoby Ellsbury for being away from his ballclub and his teammates for the last five weeks, it appears that Team Ellsbury, led by his agent, Scott Boras, is going on the attack.
They have the Red Sox medical staff in their sights.
For the first time since leaving the team to rehab his broken ribs at Athletes Performance Institute in Arizona, Ellsbury returned to the team today and is speaking about the events which led him to seek medical attention in Phoenix.
He said that there are several inaccuracies in the version of events that have been circulated by the team’s medical staff. He stated the injury suffered in the collision with 3B Adrian Beltre was diagnosed as a bruise, and that for several days thereafter he tried to "tough it out" by taking a combination of anti-inflammatory and pain medications he hoped would enable him to remain in the lineup.
Ellsbury said the pain and discomfort did not improve as the days passed and consequently he asked the Red Sox to perform an MRI exam: “I was told exactly we aren’t going to MRI a bruise. Those were their exact words: ‘We aren’t going to MRI a bruise’.”
The pain persisted and he had trouble sleeping and getting out of bed, so Boras called the ballclub and insisted on an MRI. It was done the next day.
But he said that when the MRI’s were finally done they were not what he and Boras had requested when he arrived to undergo testing, and that although he asked for the tests to be run on both his front and back, the medical staff failed to do tests on his back.
He said because of that failure, only four broken ribs in his front were discovered.
He rested and his chest began to feel better, but he was still experiencing pain in his back. He said: “I was being told that it’s just part of the healing process…”. He continued to rest and after a couple of weeks he began a rehab assignment. He played in three rehab games…and while his ribs felt good he was still experiencing discomfort in his back.
He says he wanted to get back into the lineup, therefore he planned to play through the pain…so he was activated from the DL on May 22nd and played that night in Philadelphia.
He made a diving catch that night and landed awkwardly, but he popped right back up. He said the ribs again felt good, but he was still having the same pain in his back. After two more games in Tampa against the Rays, the pain in his back continued and manager Terry Francona gave him a day off.
On the off day, he spent some time in the batting cage with hitting coach Dave Magadan and felt a tremendous pain in his lat area. He had yet another MRI taken on the front and on the side, and he says the MRI came back negative: “It basically comes up that they didn’t see anything, but I (was) placed on the DL (anyway).”
After a few weeks, he said the symptoms worsened.
Ellsbury said that under Boras’ direction he sought the opinion of Dr. Lewis Yocum when the pain in his back persisted and a new discomfort in his side surfaced. The tests performed by Dr. Yocum revealed he had a broken rib in his back as well as a strained lat in his side.
He also said that, contrary to what the Red Sox medical staff has reported, the broken rib in this back was not a product of a catch he made against Philadelphia on May 22nd, but was actually a result of the collision he had with Adrian Beltre in Kansas City during the first week of the season.
Ellsbury said the reason he and Boras thought it best to rehab in Arizona was because he did not want to be a “distraction” to the team, and he said the team was on board with that decision: The Red Sox agreed to it, they were in favor, they were happy that I was going to go to API and rehab my lat, my nerve and my rib.”
The wagons are circling on Yawkey Way and at the offices of Scott Boras. Tweedle Dee meet Tweedle Dum. Who should we believe?
Does it even matter?