If Jacoby Ellsbury needed peace of mind he didn’t have to look far.

Before returning to the Red Sox lineup last night Ellsbury paid a visit to Dr. Thomas Clanton at the Steadman Clinic in nearby Vail Colo. where three weeks earlier he gained confirmation that he had suffered a compression fracture of the navicular bone in his right foot.

So who better to give Ellsbury the thumbs-up to play than Clanton?

Ellsbury saw Clanton on Tuesday then took batting practice and went through his normal pregame routine. Last night he took his familiar spots in center field and atop the batting order and went 1-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored in 31/2 innings of the Sox’ 15-5 laugher over the Colorado Rockies his first game action since Sept. 5.

Foot fracture? What foot fracture?

“It was important to me to get back as soon as possible and get in some games before the postseason starts” Ellsbury said. “I know I’m pleased the team is pleased and the docs were on board that I could go and play. It was nice getting back. Felt pretty good out there.”

Coupled with the Oakland Athletics’ 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels the Red Sox cut their magic number to 2 for clinching the best record in the American League and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Of course the night belonged to retiring Rockies icon Todd Helton playing his final game at sold-out Coors Field. He was honored before the game and went 2-for-3 with three RBI including a towering solo home run in the second inning against Sox starter Jake Peavy a Rockies rival from his days with San Diego.

The game was decided by Shane Victorino’s tiebreaking three-run home run in the fourth inning and the rout was on once Will Middlebrooks hit a three-run shot in the fifth and added the Red Sox’ major league-leading ninth grand slam in the eighth to record a career-high seven RBI. Jarrod Saltalamacchia added four hits and three RBI to help lead a 16-hit barrage.

But the Red Sox’ eyes were trained on Ellsbury whose presence in the leadoff spot figures only to make the majors’ highest-scoring offense more potent in the playoffs. Assuming of course he’s able to stay on the field.

Three weeks off have not healed Ellsbury’s foot but the Red Sox are betting on him being able to manage the pain enough to play through it. Ellsbury played with an insert in his shoe and wore a larger protective guard on top of his foot to cushion the blow from potential foul balls like the one that caused the fracture.

“I’m dialed in with everything. I’ve got a bunch of things going” Ellsbury said. “Most cases are longer (to recover) but we were pretty optimistic that I would recover fast and be back on the field before the end of the regular season. We felt that from Day 1 but I know the docs are pleased with how fast everything healed up.”