Even if the 2020 Major League Baseball season was underway, Chris Sale wouldn’t be on the mound.

The Boston Red Sox southpaw underwent Tommy John surgery in March and (hopefully) will be 100 percent in 2021. Sale has been rehabbing and is six weeks out from his operation.

In an extensive interview with ESPN’s Marly Rivera, the left-hander revealed what he misses the most and how he deals with “letting his team down.”

What I miss the most is not being around my teammates and not manning my post. That’s something that I really look forward to; something that I strive to do. All that has mattered for me is to answer the phone when it’s my call. I was able to do that for a long time and now I’m not. The last couple seasons it was my shoulder, then my elbow, and now here we are. Those are the hardest parts for me mentally, letting down my teammates, missing time.

But, I will say the thing that helps me through all that is that all those guys that I feel I’m letting down, are talking to me or sending messages constantly: “Hey, man, it’s a part of it.” “We got you, you’re gonna be all right.” “We’ll see you in a year, get it right and we’ll be good.” When the guys that you feel like you’re letting down are picking you up, it makes it just a little bit better. But I’ll never forget the time I missed. I will never be OK with that.

Sale never has shied away from sharing his true feelings when he had a bad outing, which, unfortunately, happened quite a bit in 2019.

But he has teammates who are keeping his spirits high and likely are just as excited for Sale to return.

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