Scott Boras, the agent for Jacoby Ellsbury, expects the injured Red Sox center fielder to be back in time for the postseason, likely earlier.
According to Boras, the biggest issue for Ellsbury is the edema, or swelling, in his right foot and not the small fracture on the surface of the navicular bone. The swelling is affecting the movement of a tendon coming from the tibia.
Once the swelling goes down, Ellsbury will be able to start swinging a bat and proceed from there. Ellsbury is working with a specialist on that aspect of his treatment.
“The Red Sox’ interests and our interests are the same in this,” Boras said in a telephone interview. “We clearly want Jacoby to be back for the postseason and we’re all on the same page to make sure he’s available.”
Boras described the navicular bone as having three layers. Ellsbury, he said, has “a very minute” fracture running east and west on the top surface of the bone. When Dustin Pedroia fractured the same bone in 2010, he had a fracture that ran north and south through all three layers of the bone.
Pedroia was unable to put any weight on his foot. But Ellsbury played in seven of the next eight games.
“No surgical intervention is needed. This is self-healing,” Boras said. “But it got to the point where it was painful and I called [Red Sox general manager] Ben [Cherington] and said Jacoby should get an MRI.”
The pain increased during the long game against the Yankees Thursday night and may have been aggravated when Ellsbury stole a base in the 10th inning and eventually scored the winning run.
Boras, like the Red Sox, could not give an exact timetable for Ellsbury’s return.
“I think it will be short,” he said. “He’ll be able to get into a tennis shoe and do some hitting and from there maybe DH a game or two before going back to the outfield.
“This is not anything that can re-occur like a hamstring. The issue is that it’s merely a response to the surface fracture. The question is, how long does it take for that tendon, and the specialist gave us a plan how to treat that.”
Ellsbury has had conflicts with the Red Sox medical staff in previous seasons. But Boras said the change in personnel has mended that relationship.
“Everybody wants the same thing here,” Boras said. “We all want this guy to be available to the team and back at 100 percent.”
Ellsbury will be a free agent at the end of the season and so far has turned down all opportunities to negotiate a contract extension. But Boras said his client is comfortable with Boston and the direction the team has taken in the past year under Cherington and manager John Farrell.
“John has done a great job and brought a tone to that team,” Boras said. “It’s very collaborative.”
Any negotiations, however, will wait until after the season.