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Yankees taking cautious route with Ellsbury

Outfielder out with knee sprain, unable to run at 100 percent

MIAMI -- Yankees outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury's return from a right knee sprain seems less likely to happen by the end of the month.

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When asked about the outfielder reaching his target date of June 30, Yankees manager Joe Girardi didn't seem optimistic.

"What is today, the 16th?" Girardi said. "It's probably going to be pretty difficult."

Ellsbury, who sprained his lateral collateral ligament on May 19 by catching his spikes in the batter's box at Nationals Park, expressed on Sunday his hope to go from Miami to Tampa, where the team's complex is located, to continue his rehab before Minor League games.

Girardi said Ellsbury still isn't running at 100 percent, something important to his game. According to Girardi, nothing additional happened, but "it's just not where we want it to be physically. He's not where we want him to be, so we're not going to risk it."

This past weekend, Ellsbury said he had been running on the basepaths and taking batting practice indoors before receiving treatment during the game. Though there was tightness, it wasn't enough to be considered a setback. He took BP at Marlins Park on Monday.

"It looks like he's not quite ready, so he's going to go back home with us," Girardi said. "He's not ready to go to Tampa. Hopefully he'll be there next week, and we just got to wait and see."

Worth noting

Right-hander Ivan Nova will be making his final rehab start Friday for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. On Saturday, he tossed six innings of one-run ball in his first outing at Triple-A. Nova, 28, is returning from Tommy John surgery.

Christina De Nicola is a contributor to
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