"Even when it started, I thought I could play that day," he said. "But it's one of those things where we have the luxury of Spring Training and letting it get 100 percent. That's pretty much what it's been. At this point, I'm not feeling anything too much in the calf. I run bases, use my legs. Why not let it get to be 100 percent?''
Yankees manager Joe Girardi wants to give his center fielder two more days to rest the right calf muscle he tweaked last weekend. Ellsbury underwent an MRI on the calf during the week, and no major damage was found.
Barring a setback, Girardi said that Ellsbury is scheduled to play in a Minor League game on Tuesday before hopefully returning to the Yankees' lineup Wednesday. That would provide him with the possibility of playing five games to get ready for the April 1 opener at Houston. He's among the group of Yankees veterans who hasn't hit much this spring, batting .174 with one home run in nine games.
Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.