Chris Sale apparently has avoided the worst-case scenario — at least for now.
The Boston Red Sox pitcher won’t need Tommy John surgery, at this time, reports indicated Wednesday. On Thursday morning, Sox manager Ron Roenicke revealed the left-handed pitcher has a flexor strain and will wait a week before he resumes throwing.
After Sale experienced pain following a mound session a few days ago, he went for an MRI on Monday. The Red Sox forwarded those results along to Dr. James Andrews and then sought an additional opinion from Dr. Neal ElAlttrache. According to Roenicke, no one recommended surgery, and all parties involved are hopeful rest takes care of the problem.
Sale has a flexor strain
-he will wait a week and start throwing again
-will start over with bullpens and they will see where he?s at
-hopeful this is just a setback
-all doctors agreed on this course of action, no one recommended surgery
— Guerin Austin (@guerinaustin) March 5, 2020
Ron Roenicke said all medical opinions agreed on having Sale rest for another week before starting his throwing program. Said no one recommended surgery at this time. Admitted there is still plenty of concern and that he?ll be holding breath when Sale begins throwing. #redsox
— Tom Caron (@TomCaron) March 5, 2020
Of course, that’s not to say Sale won’t eventually go under the knife at some point. But this course of action certainly makes sense at this point because if Sale does end up needing Tommy John surgery, he would have missed the entire 2020 season and almost all — if not all — of the 2021 season. So if there’s even a slight chance they can come out the other side of this without Sale having surgery, it’s worth a shot because he’s likely going to miss the better part of two seasons regardless.
And given the Red Sox’s current starting pitching issues, they’ll certainly need Sale back at some point this season to avoid a lost year. The Red Sox did address some of those pitching concerns Thursday morning by signing veteran right-handed pitcher Collin McHugh to a one-year contract.