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Jacoby Ellsbury has compression fracture, could return before end of regular season

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Jacoby Ellsbury has a fractured foot, but it's not as bad as it sounds.

Jim Rogash

Jacoby Ellsbury has been diagnosed with a non-displaced compression fracture in his right foot, but John Farrell and the Red Sox are "hopeful" that he will return before the end of the regular season.

So the news is not good. But it's also not as bad as it might have been. Ellsbury played through his injury for a week after the initial foul ball off his foot that presumably caused the injury. Now the plan is to keep him in a boot and off his feet for as long as possible in the hopes that he can make his return to the team for the playoffs as close to 100% as possible.

Losing Ellsbury for the playoffs would, of course, be a big deal. But at least for the next few weeks, with Boston's magic number at twelve with some 38 games left to be played between them and the Rays, the situation doesn't seem dire. Add in a hopefully-improved Jackie Bradley Jr., who has reached base four times in eight attempts in his return to the Red Sox, and the Sox can make do without for a while.

The question is, will he be back by October? The Red Sox are hopeful, but there's a non-zero chance that making that statement was a calculated move against the possibility that Scott Boras would advise his client against risking further injury with free agency on the horizon. All indication is that Ellsbury wants to get back on the field, but that X-factor can't be completely ignored.

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