Friday, specifically. WEEI's Alex Speier has the good news:
Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, out since April 13 after suffering a subluxation of his right shoulder, might be able to start playing in games on a minor league rehab assignment as soon as Friday, according to Sox manager Bobby Valentine. At the beginning of his rehab assignment, which will commence with the Rookie Level Gulf Coast League Red Sox, Ellsbury will serve as a designated hitter.
Valentine characterized himself as "optimistic" but "cautious" about Ellsbury's progress.
"I think it's great the he got himself back to the point where he can be back on the field," said Valentine.
This puts him just a few days behind fellow injured Sox outfield Carl Crawford, who's been in the GCL this week. Carl is expected to play in the field soon, as opposed to just DHing.
I'm going to try not to be negative about this -- let's just enjoy it as good news. Never mind that Ellsbury will have been on the DL probably twice as long as first anticipated. Never mind that he'll probably hit some sort of snag along the way. If we can get him and Crawford back to a lineup that is already performing well, we'll certainly have a better shot at making a run. And it'll give Ben Cherington a few trade pieces -- whoever he deems to be excess out of Ryan Kalish, Daniel Nava, Cody Ross, Ryan Sweeney, Scott Podsednik, and Darnell McDonald -- to try to improve the rotation with.