Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury is "likely" to return to Boston's lineup Wednesday night and bat leadoff, reports Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.
The news has made at least one person very happy:
"Looking forward to getting on the field," Ellsbury said.
"It should be fun. I’m excited. You see the smile on my face?"
Ellsbury, who has been out with a non-displaced compression fracture in his right foot since Sept. 5, went through batting practice and pre-game warmups Tuesday without a hitch. The successful workout led manager John Farrell to announce that his star center fielder would probably be back in action for at least some of Wednesday's match-up against the Rockies.
The 30-year-old initially played on his broken foot for about a week before anyone realized something was wrong. Doctors determined that his time on the field did nothing to make the injury worse, but Boston decided to keep Ellsbury on the sidelines for a while nevertheless -- "not getting worse" and "improving" aren't exactly the same thing.
Ellsbury is batting .299/.355/.424 with eight home runs on the year. While his numbers at the plate leave a bit to be desired -- compared to his 2011 stats, at least -- his huge impact on defense and on the base paths is hard to overstate.