In early February, Chris Sale was diagnosed with a mild case of pneumonia, an illness that prevented him from starting spring training on time.
But is it possible the Boston Red Sox star in fact was dealing with COVID-19, the virus currently causing a global pandemic?
While we can’t say for sure, Sale on Tuesday admitted to wondering whether it was the coronavirus that led to his bout with pneumonia.
“I don’t think there’s a test now, but I think they’re working on a test now to see if you have antibodies for it, meaning you’ve had it,” Sale told reporters during a conference call, per NBC Sports Boston’s John Tomase. “It’s craziness to look at my symptoms and look at the symptoms of people who have the COVID-19 virus and some of the similarities. We may never know, but I’m definitely hoping not.”
“As contagious as this virus is, I think that if I had it, somebody in my family and a lot of people at the park would have been infected by it,” he added. “I don’t want to make light of it and joke about having something like that, but it definitely crossed my mind and I asked people about it.”
It’s worth noting the 31-year-old tested negative for influenza in early February, before coronavirus testing was widely available in the United States.
Of course, Sale’s spring training was cut short before everyone else’s was due to ongoing issues with his left elbow. He recently underwent Tommy John Surgery, which will keep him out of action for at least a year.
“If you’re telling me the only thing I have to do is work hard at rehabbing this elbow, we’re in,” Sale said, via Tomase. “There’s no more discussion.”
As for when baseball itself can resume, that remains up in the air. A report Monday night raised optimism the 2020 season could start sooner than expected, but Major League Baseball on Tuesday threw cold water on the idea.