Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/14/12

As usual, Jacoby Ellsbury led the way.

With the Red Sox eagerly awaiting the return of their long list of injured players, Ellsbury was

reinstated from the disabled list Friday night, just in time to resume his familiar spots atop the batting

order and in center field in the first game after the All-Star break.

"The doctors and myself, we're confident you can expect to see the normal me, going out there and

playing hard," Ellsbury said before the Red Sox resumed the post-All-Star portion of their schedule against

the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. "I'm just excited to be out here."

Ellsbury had been sidelined since April 13 with a partial dislocation, or subluxation, of his right

shoulder. He was injured while sliding into second base and having his shoulder crunched under the weight

of Tampa Bay shortstop Reid Brignac.

In his return to the lineup, Ellsbury went 1-for-5 in the Red Sox's 3-1 victory.

Ellsbury leads a group of players who missed all or most of the season's first half. On Monday, the Red

Sox are expecting to get left fielder Carl Crawford back from a sprained elbow ligament, while second

baseman Dustin Pedroia could return next week from a hyperextended right thumb. Closer Andrew Bailey, who

underwent thumb surgery on the eve of Opening Day, may be back by late August.

And with the cavalry coming back, the Red Sox are optimistic about being able to overcome a mediocre

first half and contending for a wild-card berth in the American League.

"We're getting guys back," Ellsbury said. "Guys have done a tremendous job. I can go on for a while

naming various guys -- infielders, outfielders, pitchers -- that have done a tremendous job. It's always

more than 25 guys you need to complete a season. We're hoping we can come back, but there's other guys as

well definitely working hard to come back."

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