Jacoby Ellsbury suffers concussion, sprained neck on wall-crashing catch

Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury started Wednesday’s 3-0 win against the Royals in spectacular fashion, crashing into the center field wall at Yankee Stadium while robbing Alcides Escobar of extra bases.

Unfortunately, Ellsbury paid the price physically, suffering a concussion and a sprained neck in the process. The Yankees announced after the game that Ellsbury was placed on the seven-day concussion DL.

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Manager Joe Girardi and athletic trainer Stevie Donohue were quick to assist to Ellsbury, with Donohue even administering smelling salts at one point. Despite that ominous sign, Ellsbury actually remained in the game and completed the inning defensively, but was replaced by Aaron Hicks to begin the second inning. Ellsbury did not record a plate appearance.

That Ellsbury even briefly remained in the game might be considered startling given the emphasis on head injuries and the concussion protocols in place in Major League Baseball. Ellsbury obviously passed the on-field concussion test. But as can be the case with head injuries, it’s possible his symptoms were slow to develop.

Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury steadies himself after colliding with the outfield wall making a great catch. He was later diagnosed with a concussion and sprained neck. (AP)

It’s also difficult to predict how much time he might be forced to miss.

In the meantime, Hicks will see additional playing time in center field between outfield bookends Aaron Judge and Brett Gardner. The Yankees outfield options beyond that are a little bit limited right now.

Like the collision between Dodgers outfielders Yasiel Puig and Joc Pederson on Tuesday, this had to feel more like the aftermath of a car crash. In that regard, we’re just relieved Ellsbury was able to walk away under their own power and will hopefully be back in the Yankees lineup sooner than later.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!