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05/02/08 8:39 PM ET

Ellsbury set to return; Crisp, Drew rest

Injury-plagued outfield shuffled around by manager Francona

BOSTON -- Part of Red Sox manager Terry Francona's daily routine this week has been to take inventory of his injury-plagued outfield.

While Friday marked the return to the lineup of center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, it gave Coco Crisp an opportunity to rest two ailing legs that he had played through the last few days.

Crisp has discomfort in his left knee and right hamstring, the latter of which has been bothering him for a couple of weeks.

"My knee feels fine to start the day," said Crisp. "I think my hamstring is still the sorest thing. That feels better during the game. I don't feel it at all during the game. But then my knee gets more agitated."

Then there is right fielder J.D. Drew, who hasn't played since straining his left quad in his first at-bat on Tuesday.

"I actually had him in there originally, just because we put [the lineup] up so early, and then I talked to him later, and he goes, 'One more day would be good, if we can.' I also understand that if somebody's not feeling OK," said Francona. "But Ellsbury is doing OK. So we'll try to wait one more day."

Ellsbury had missed three games with a sore right groin.

"I think he's fine," said Francona. "We really try not to play guys if they're not ready to play. I think we probably could have played him last night if we needed to, but I don't know if it would have made sense."

All the injuries in the outfield have left playing time for prospect Brandon Moss, who was in the lineup for the third straight night.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.