Ellsbury's MRI shows oblique injury

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury's chances of being ready for Opening Day were dealt a blow on Wednesday when the team announced an MRI had revealed an oblique injury that will keep Ellsbury from participating in any baseball activities for about a week.

Manager Joe Girardi held Ellsbury out of Tuesday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays and Ellsbury did not make the trip to Disney World for Wednesday night's game against the Atlanta Braves. Originally, Girardi had termed Ellsbury's injury "a little, mild, mild, mild, mild quad strain" that was expected to keep Ellsbury off the field for two days.

Later on Tuesday, Girardi amended his description of the injury to a strain of the rectus abdominis, a small muscle in the lower right side of the abdomen. According to Girardi, Yankees team physicians had determined that no tests were necessary.

But shortly before the start of Wednesday's game, a team spokesman announced Ellsbury had in fact undergone an MRI, which revealed the potentially more serious oblique injury, which can sideline players for up to six weeks.

Wednesday night Girardi said he was not concerned that Ellsbury might miss the season opener.

"I'm not too concerned about it because its really mild, but this is the time that we can protect him a little bit. We don't have to rush him back," Girardi said. "We'll give him six or seven days and then see where he's at. There'll be plenty of time."

Ellsbury, who was signed to a seven-year, $153 million contract before last season, had three of his last four seasons with the Boston Red Sox shortened by injury. Last spring, he suffered a calf injury in mid-March that caused him to miss the rest of spring training, although he was able to play on Opening Day.

So far this spring, Ellsbury was batting .222, with six hits and one RBI in 27 at-bats.