Red Sox manager John Farrell said Wednesday he thought he needed to get Ellsbury to "80 percent or better intensity level" before putting him back in the lineup.
Ellsbury injured the groin in last Thursday's win in Philadelphia, during which he recorded a team-record five stolen bases. Ellsbury was 11-for-23 with five extra-base hits and seven steals in five games before suffering the injury.
Ellsbury picked right up where he left off, going 4-for-5 with two doubles and two runs scored in Thursday's 6-3 win over the Rangers.
Rookie Jackie Bradley Jr. started five games in center field in Ellsbury's place.