Francona defends injured Ellsbury

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Wednesday on Boston sports radio WEEI that outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury is likely to be out for the season with his latest rib injury.

"My guess is that this may be season ending. I mean, you know, again, I don't know if you rule it out completely, but I don't know if you're going to see him back," said Francona.

Francona became very defensive and irritated, however, when asked if he considered Jacoby a soft player.

“No. And I think for anyone to ever say that, especially for a radio host, is very disrespectful,” he said. “Talking tough on the radio is a lot different than running into a wall or getting hit with a pitch. It’s easy to be a tough guy when you get away from the field. But if you ever walk down to the field for a minute and feel how hard that baseball is — I mean, this guy’s getting beat up.

"To get to this point in their career, they’ve had to -- I know a lot of people think they’re pampered athletes -- but they’ve had to work pretty hard, and they’ve had to go through a lot. I guess I probably get a little bit protective of these guys because I think they deserve it.”

Ellsbury, who turns 27 on Sept. 11, was hurt in a collision with Texas pitcher Tommy Hunter in the first inning Friday in a game at The Ballpark in Arlington. The next day, he was placed on the disabled list for the third time this season. Friday's game was his ninth since being activated from his second stint on the DL.

Tests administered in Los Angeles on Tuesday show that Jacoby Ellsbury has another fractured rib, according a source close to Ellsbury.

When asked for further details on the injury, Francona said he could only relate what doctors had told him.

“He’s got a rib problem. And again, when I say, ‘re-aggravate,’ who knows. I gave you the best explanation I could, that was after talking to Dr. Yocum. There’s some ambiguity in how it happened, when it happened, and that’s coming from the doctor. So, if they don’t exactly know, I don’t know how I would.”