BRADENTON, Fla. -- Manager Joe Girardi said that center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury reported to George M. Steinbrenner Field on Monday feeling better, but he's still unlikely to play on Tuesday against the Red Sox, his former team.
"My guess is it will be no, but I'll see," Girardi said.
Girardi said that Ellsbury was planning to hit in the batting cage on Monday, a day after he was scratched from the lineup because of tightness in his right calf. Tuesday's game would be somewhat more meaningful for Ellsbury considering it would be his first time facing the club that drafted and developed him, but the Yankees would rather not rush him back, especially considering his history of injuries and how important his speed is to his overall game.
Ellsbury did not speak to reporters on Monday but said on Sunday that he would play on Tuesday if he feels healthy. The 30-year-old leadoff man had been scheduled to play on Monday but was scratched from the travel roster a day in advance when he mentioned the tight calf. The game, against the Pirates, was ultimately rained out.
When a reporter reminded Ellsbury on Sunday that the Red Sox are coming to town, he joked that he was already feeling better.
"I'm looking forward to going back [to Boston]," said Ellsbury, who spent seven years with the Red Sox before signing a seven-year, $153 million deal with the Yankees this offseason. "I've always enjoyed playing in that stadium, in front of that crowd, so I don't think it'll really be any different.
"Everybody talks about the reception. I'm not really sure what to expect. Haven't really thought about it. But I'm looking forward to going back there."