Brace yourself: Jacoby Ellsbury's knee still needs support

NEW YORK -- Jacoby Ellsbury did some running in the outfield before the Yankees-Angels game Friday night, but unseen under his uniform pants was what Yankees GM Brian Cashman called "one of those lineman-looking braces'' on his sprained right knee.

That means a big brace, with steel supports along the side, and it will remain on Ellsbury's knee for another week at least. According to manager Joe Girardi, Ellsbury, who went on the disabled list on May 20 after injuring himself on a swing, ran 1o 40-yard sprints at "50 percent,'' did some throwing and took some dry swings in the batting cage. But there is still no timetable for Ellsbury's return, and the original prognosis of a four-to-six week absence is likely to be at the longer end of the spectrum, meaning probably the first week of July.

"I'll be honest, his baseball activities are just starting so I can't speak to that,'' Cashman said. "My update through yesterday is he’s busting his tail and doing a lot of functional stuff, weight work and all. But he’s got to have that brace on for three weeks total and he’s just past week two.''

At the time of his injury, Ellsbury was leading the Yankees' regulars with a .324 batting average, a .412 on-base percentage and 14 stolen bases.