NEW YORK — Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury has what the Red Sox fear could be a significant injury to his right foot.
Ellsbury was sent back to Boston to be examined by a specialist, Dr. George Theodore, and team orthopedist Dr. Peter Asnis. According to manager John Farrell, an MRI taken Saturday morning showed swelling and inflammation.
The area of concern is a navicular bone. Ellsbury has been outfitted with a walking boot and is out indefinitely. The Sox are trying to determine whether Ellsbury has a bone bruise that can be managed, or a slight fracture.
“My understanding is . . . there’s no long-term concern here,” general manager Ben Cherington said. “It’s really about how do we best manage it over the course of the next several weeks hopefully, and hopefully he can play a lot in those several weeks.”
Ellsbury traveled to Colorado Saturday afternoon and will be examined by Dr. Thomas Clanton at the Steadman Clinic in Vail Sunday.
“We’re still in the process of gathering more information,” Farrell said. “We’re still going through some additional tests, and when that information is more conclusive I think we’ll have a better read on the diagnosis.
“I don’t think we’re looking at something that’s just day-to-day here. But before we get into any kind of time frame, I think what’s probably best for all involved here is to wait until we get more conclusive evidence and information.”
The original injury occurred Aug. 28 when Ellsbury fouled a ball off his foot. He came out of the game an inning later but returned to the lineup the next day. He aggravated the injury when he stole second base in the 10th inning Thursday night.
“He’s been playing quite a bit since then and playing well. The soreness increased, so we felt like the right thing to do was to get it looked at again,” Cherington said.
Ellsbury is hitting .299 with eight home runs, 52 RBIs, and a major-league leading 52 stolen bases. His 89 runs lead the team.
“Jake’s frustrated,” Farrell said. “He wants to be on the field. He feels like he can play right now. But at the direction of the medical people, we have to be careful of this . . . I can tell you this: Jacoby wants to be on the field. He’s kind of [ticked] he’s not here right now, to be honest with you.”
The Red Sox called up Jackie Bradley Jr. from Triple A Pawtucket and started him in center field in Saturday’s 13-9 victory against the Yankees. Shane Victorino batted leadoff.
“We’ll probably go day-to-day for the time being,” Farrell said.
Ellsbury will be a free agent after the season. But Cherington does not believe that will affect how the injury is handled.
“I don’t think there’s any long-term risk here for him. I don’t think that’s something he’s worried about. We’re concerned about the now,” the GM said. “Trying to treat this the right way now, hopefully in a way that allows him to play this year for the Red Sox.”
If Ellsbury is out for the remainder of the season, it would be a significant loss given his prominent role in the offense and his strong play in center field.
“Let’s not kid ourselves, Jacoby Ellsbury in the leadoff spot with the stolen base ability, the talent that he has; this is a guy we’re going to miss for the time being that he will be out,” Farrell said.”
Bradley is back
Bradley was 1 for 4 with a walk and two runs. In his four stints with the Red Sox this season, he has started six games at Yankee Stadium. The Sox are 5-1 in those games with Bradley going 6 for 24 and scoring eight runs.
Bradley was told late Friday night after playing in a playoff game for Pawtucket that he was being called up. He had a brief nap then caught a flight to New York.
“It’s just like before. Come up here and do what I can to help the team,” said Bradley, who hit .275 with an .842 OPS in 80 games for Pawtucket this season. “I know what to expect.”
Bradley dealt with a series of minor injuries with the PawSox but felt the season was productive.
“Wanted to refine my approach at the plate and felt I did that,” he said. “You’re always learning, always trying to get better.”
Bradley lost No. 44 to Jake Peavy. He was given No. 25, which had not been issued since Bobby Valentine was fired.
Salty is set
Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (lower-back pain) missed his fifth consecutive game. “I could have played but we decided to be sure and take that one extra day,” he said. “I’m feeling pretty good now.” Saltalamacchia expects to return to the lineup Sunday. David Ross and Ryan Lavarnway are 8 for 19 with six RBIs filling in for Saltalamacchia . . . Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter left the game in the sixth inning with a sore left ankle. A CT scan was negative, but he is questionable for Sunday.
The Red Sox have not announced their rotation for the series at Tampa Bay that starts Tuesday. Clay Buchholz is ready to come off the disabled list after making three minor league rehab starts. But the Sox have not yet decided whether to pull Felix Doubront or Ryan Dempster from the rotation. “Who we replace Clay for, we’re probably a day away from announcing that,” Farrell said.
Hawaiian is flyin’
Victorino was 1 for 4, and was hit by a pitch for the 13th time in his last 32 games. He has hit safely in 18 of the last 20 games at 30 for 80 (.375) with six doubles, seven home runs, and 20 RBIs . . . The Sox are 10-5 against the Yankees this season, 7-2 at Yankee Stadium . . . The Sox are 6-1 in September after going 7-19 last season . . . Will Middlebrooks (2 for 4) is 30 for 84 (.357) in 25 games since being recalled from Pawtucket. His batting average has climbed from .192 to .240.Peter Abraham can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.