Cameron, Beckett just about ready

Updated: May 16, 2010, 2:41 AM ET
By Dave Hogg | Special to ESPNBoston.com

DETROIT -- Boston Red Sox outfielder Mike Cameron came out of rehab appearance with Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday night after going 0-for-2 with a walk in three plate appearances, but manager Terry Francona said he didn't think it was because of a setback in Cameron's recovery from an abdominal strain.

"Obviously, I wasn't making phone calls about guys on rehab in the 12th inning of our game tonight, but I'm sure it isn't a problem," Francona said after the Red Sox lost to the Tigers. "We told Cam to come out of the game as soon as he thought he had enough at-bats for the night."

Francona said before Saturday's rehab start that Cameron could be back with Boston as soon as Monday.

"At this point, it is just going to come down to if he feels like he needs a couple more at-bats on Sunday," Francona said. "If he doesn't, we could give him Sunday off and activate him on Monday. Either way, he's done a great job getting himself ready, and it is just going to come down to what works best for him over the next day or two."

Francona also announced after the game that another injured outfielder, Jacoby Ellsbury, will begin a rehab assignment on Monday. Ellsbury is scheduled to play for Pawtucket on Monday afternoon and Double-A Portland on Tuesday night, then could rejoin Boston later in the week.

On Saturday, both Ellsbury and Josh Beckett had encouraging workouts with the team in Detroit. Beckett, who missed his last start with a back strain, threw 55 pitches in a bullpen session without any problems.

"He's on course to start for us on Tuesday in New York," Francona said. "Obviously, we'll have to check in with him tomorrow to make sure he's still feeling good, but all signs point to him being ready for Tuesday."

Beckett's workout was just as rigorous as a normal side session between starts because Francona wants to make sure he's ready.

"We always want a pitcher to throw a full bullpen before we put him back on the mound," Francona said. "I know that other teams don't do that, but that's always been our philosophy."

Beckett's improvement meant that Francona could let Tim Wakefield skip a scheduled bullpen session. Wakefield was being held back in case Beckett wasn't ready for the Yankees on Tuesday, but he will now be available to pitch long relief.

Ellsbury won't be ready for the Yankees, but he could be playing in rehab games while the Red Sox are in New York. Ellsbury fractured four ribs in a collision with Beltre on April 11, but has been working out with the team in Detroit.

"I think we're getting very close to sending him out to get some at-bats," Francona said. "I'm going to meet with him and Theo [Epstein] in a little while and we're going to make a decision, but he's confident that he can start playing."

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