|ESPN.com: Baseball||[Print without images]|
BOSTON -- Only a few hours after the Red Sox held a conference call with the club's medical director Dr. Thomas Gill to discuss the rib injury to Jacoby Ellsbury, the club on Friday placed outfielder Jeremy Hermida on the disabled list with a similar injury.
Hermida has five fractured ribs on his left side, the result of a collision with third baseman Adrian Beltre June 4 in Baltimore. Ellsbury was felled by a similar collision April 11 in Kansas City and has missed much of the season.
After Hermida's collision, in which he hurt his forearm in addition to the ribs, he had a CT scan taken in Baltimore. The fractures weren't detected until Hermida had an MRI on Friday.
"I was hoping it wasn't something like that," Hermida said. "There's nothing we can do about it, so I'll take a little time and get it better and do as much as I can to get back out there as soon as I can."
Also, Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis, who was removed from Thursday's game in Cleveland with back spasms, was not in the lineup against the Phillies on Friday. According to manager Terry Francona, Youkilis was a little stiff.
"He did a good job of getting himself out of there. Maybe that's something he wouldn't have done in the past," Francona said. "He would have tried to play through, and it would have cost him three for four days. I'm pretty sure he'll be fine for tomorrow."
Youkilis was replaced by Mike Lowell.
Second baseman Dustin Pedroia, whose right knee has been bothering him, had a MRI taken Friday and the results came back clean. Pedroia said he feels fine and was in the lineup Friday.
"They could amputate my leg and I'd still play," he said.
In other moves, the Red Sox activated closer Jonathan Papelbon from the bereavement list, recalled pitcher Scott Atchison from Triple-A Pawtucket and designated pitcher Joe Nelson for assignment.
Nelson said it's unlikely he'll accept an assignment to Triple-A Pawtucket, so unless he is picked up off waivers he'll probably retire.
Unlike Ellsbury, Hermida said he's optimistic he'll be ready to return to the lineup once his 15 days expire. After his initial injury, Ellsbury missed nearly six weeks. He returned May 22 only to return to the DL after suffering what the team believes is a new injury. He now will rest for at least two weeks and there is no set timetable for his return.
"We're going to DL him and let these things calm down a little bit," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said of Hermida. "We'll go at a pace he can tolerate. That doesn't really change. It's kind of eerily similar to -- Beltre is going to take out our whole outfield. We'll try to let that heal a little bit. He was feeling better today, which we know can happen. We just want to slow it down a little bit and not have him go one step forward, two back, the rest of the year."
Hermida said he was extremely surprised that both he and Ellsbury were injured on similar plays.
"I've never really seen anything like that happen, ever," he said. "And to have it happen to two guys on the same team, basically on the same play, saying it's a freak thing may be an understatement."
Hermida will be the first to admit that type of play happens frequently, but because no one can get to the ball you seldom see nasty collisions.
"What happened to both of us is a freak thing," he said. "There's not much you can do about it. You accept it and move forward and do the most you can every day to get back out there as soon as you can."
Hermida won't be able to participate in any kind of baseball activity until he's healthy enough to handle it, according to Francona.
"Saying that, best-case scenario, it could even be three or four days. This is a guy that played the other day, felt worse after he played, and then today felt better.
"The way it was explained to me, and I'm actually getting more knowledge on this stuff than I really want, it's kind of a deep bone bruise. When you hear 'fracture,' everybody thinks it's like a broken leg. That's really not what it is. It's something that's very painful to deal with."
Francona further described the injury as similar to being punched and getting a deep bruise. The Sox initially thought that was the nature of Ellsbury's injury, but that hasn't turned out to be the case.
Since suffering his injury, Hermida has had a few conversations with Ellsbury about what to expect and the kind of treatment that has worked for him.
The team has been joking all week about what it is going to do with Beltre. They're not about to stop him from playing the way he does, but his teammates say he could have another career post-baseball.
"Guys are talking and we might be able to get him on the UFC tour and see if he can take those knees to someone else," Hermida said jokingly. "It's just one of those freaks things and I'm sure he feels bad about it too. It's one of those things you can't avoid. Unfortunately it happened twice in a month and a half of each other."
Joe McDonald covers the Red Sox and Bruins for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter.