By George A. King III
MIAMI — Any hope the Yankees had of getting Jacoby Ellsbury back from the disabled list before July 1 vanished Tuesday. Now, manager Joe Girardi has his fingers crossed the center fielder and leadoff hitter returns before the All-Star break.
“I sure hope so,’’ Girardi said of Ellsbury being able to come back before the July 13-16 break.
The Yankees are 12-11 since Ellsbury suffered a sprained right knee May 19 in Washington, which means they haven’t bottomed out without him — even though when injured he was easily the Yankees’ best player with a .324 (48-for-148) average and a .412 on-base percentage.
The plan called for Ellsbury to work out with the Yankees prior to the two games against the Marlins, then, if he felt good, go to Tampa and continue working at the minor league facility and eventually play in minor league rehab games. That plan has been shelved.
“He is not quite ready, so he will go home with us,’’ Girardi said. “He is not where we want him to be physically, so we are not going to risk it. He is not running 100 percent, and obviously that is important.’’
When Ellsbury was injured the conservative estimate was he would miss a month. That date is Friday and obviously it’s going to take longer for him to return. What the Yankees don’t know is how much longer.
“It’s going slower than we thought it might,’’ Girardi said. “I said earlier in this trip that our hope was, you always get a little excited that things would move faster but it just didn’t.’’