WASHINGTON -- The New York Yankees don't know yet or won't say what the prognosis is for Jacoby Ellsbury's sprained right knee ligament that has landed him on the disabled list, but they have determined Ellsbury does not need an operation.
Ellsbury will be looked at by the Yankees' team doctor, Chris Ahmad, when the team returns home Friday. After, Ahmad will recommend a timetable.
"It is not anything that requires surgery so we are not holding anything that is doom or gloom," manager Joe Girardi said Wednesday. "We just have to see how he responds over the next few days and see what Dr. Ahmad says."
An MRI on Ellsbury's knee was negative.
To replace Ellsbury, the Yankees called up Slade Heathcott, the team's first-round pick in 2009.
Girardi chose not to start the left-handed Heathcott on Wednesday against right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, but Heathcott -- who has been injury prone and dealt with off-the-field issues -- is going to receive a chance to play a lot against righties. Chris Young is a lefty killer but struggles against righties.
Heathcott and Young will man center, while Brett Gardner will remain in left.
Ellsbury said he hurt the knee when his spike got stuck in the Nationals Park dirt during a swing Tuesday. Ellsbury doesn't know how long he will be out.
"I'll have a better understanding of the timeline on Friday," Ellsbury said.
Ellsbury, 31, is hitting .324 and leads the American League with 14 stolen bases. He is in the second season of a seven-year, $153 million deal.