Feeling better, Ellsbury eyes return Thursday

Outfielder, who's on 7-day concussion DL, says headaches are better

Feeling better, Ellsbury eyes return Thursday

BALTIMORE -- Jacoby Ellsbury reported that his headaches have dissipated, and Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that the outfielder could return to the lineup when he is eligible to be activated from the seven-day concussion disabled list on Thursday.

Ellsbury said that Tuesday "is the best day" he has had since crashing into the center-field fence at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, robbing the Royals' Alcides Escobar of an extra-base hit.

"It's something -- as far as a headache -- you don't know when it's going to go away," Ellsbury said. "But I'm happy where I'm at today, and I guess I'll try to do as much as I can and try to get back on the field as soon as possible. Yeah, today is a good day."

Ellsbury added that he has been receiving treatment on his sprained neck, and that is also improving. Ellsbury remained in the game immediately following the crash, then was replaced by Aaron Hicks at the start of the next inning.

"You never want to walk off the field," Ellsbury said. "I probably shouldn't have stayed in, but I wanted to stay in. I mean, you know, you start to feel better through the at-bat. But we did everything right and then realized it's not the smartest to continue playing."

Girardi said that the Yankees would have Ellsbury do some running on the field Tuesday at Camden Yards and possibly hit in the batting cage. Ellsbury said that he believes he will be on the travel roster to Toronto.

"I think it comes down to how he reacts to the exercise," Girardi said. "He has to pass the [concussion] test again. You just never know how a guy is going to react once they start moving around."

Ref at first

Rob Refsnyder has been limited to four plate appearances off the bench in his brief time with the Yankees this season, but the utility man finally logged a start on Tuesday at first base, filling in for the slumping Chris Carter.

Carter's booming solo homer

"The last few days have been tough," Girardi said of Carter. "Before that, he was hitting a little bit. He's a streaky guy, so I'm thinking maybe a day off will help him. We'll see what happens there and see if we can get him going."

Carter is hitting .188/.288/.347 with four homers and 14 RBIs in 101 at-bats, striking out 45 times. Entering play on Tuesday, the Yankees' collective .582 OPS from their first basemen ranked last among the 30 Major League teams (Seattle was 29th with a .637 OPS).

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.