Doctor Says He Never Treated Ellsbury For Baseball Injuries

Ryan Chatelain
November 25, 2019 - 3:21 pm

The doctor at the center of the Yankees-Jacoby Ellsbury contract dispute insists he never treated the outfielder for a work-related injury.

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The Yankees released Ellsbury last week and refuse to pay him the $26 million that was owed to him -- $21 million for the 2020 season and a $5 million buyout for 2021. The team argues that Ellsbury violated the terms of his contract when he was treated by a doctor they did not approve.

Ellsbury, who missed the 2018 and 2019 seasons with oblique, back and hip injuries, is expected to file a grievance seeking the money. 

In an interview with The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, Dr. Viktor Bouquette, of the Progressive Medical Center in Atlanta, said the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) prevents him from disclosing details of Ellsbury's treatment but added that his clinic focuses on reducing inflammation in patients by identifying and treating its underlying causes. It does not rehabilitate specific injuries, he added.

Jacoby Ellsbury
Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Images

Bouquette said he's not aware of the Yankees previously objecting to him treating Ellsbury. He said he was only asked in May to sign a statement saying he was familiar with baseball's list of banned substances and promising not to administer any drugs on that list to Ellsbury -- a request he says he fulfilled.

But apparently the letter did not satisfy the Yankees, who wanted more information about Ellsbury's treatment, The Athletic reported. Bouqette says he provided the team with all the records they asked for.

The doctor also said a report saying Ellsbury first visited his clinic in 2017 was "probably" accurate.

Neither the Yankees nor Ellsbury's agent, Scott Boras, commented to The Athletic.