Valentine expects Ells back vs. Rays

July, 9, 2012
7/09/12
1:59
AM ET
BOSTON -- Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury went 1-for-4 with a run as he started in center field for the PawSox. He's now 5-for-23 with two doubles, a homer, 3 RBIs, 5 runs and 4 walks in a total of seven minor league rehab games. He'll continue to work out at Fenway during the break and will likely be activated thereafter.

"When he's ready he'll be ready, but it's probably getting pretty close," Valentine said. After Boston's 7-3 loss to the Yankees on Sunday night, Valentine said he expects Ellsbury to be with the Sox when they resume play Friday at the Tampa Bay Rays.

Left fielder Carl Crawford will play at Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday. The left fielder suffered a minor setback and he was removed from his rehab assignment due to a mild groin strain on Saturday.

"He's feeling pretty good," Valentine said.

Crawford could return as soon as July 16, when the Sox return to Fenway for a series with the Chicago White Sox.

Joe McDonald

Reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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