It sounds simple, if not a little cliche, but Chris Sale is truly taking things day by day in his rehab from Tommy John surgery.
The Boston Red Sox pitcher is enviably simple when it comes to something as complex and difficult as reconstructive elbow surgery. Speaking to reporters for the first time since last summer, Sale on Thursday said he’s still on track in his rehab — despite a recent neck issue and a bout with COVID-19 in January.
“I feel great now,” Sale told reporters in a video conference from Fort Myers, Fla. “We had a little hiccup with the neck. I guess the silver lining is my elbow has been on track since Day 1, nothing off track with that. It’s been steady through the whole process. â¦ It’s nice, I know I kept saying it, but I was here all summer by myself and it’s nice to have.”
Sale wasn’t willing to put any sort of timeline on when or if he’d return during the 2021 season. He hasn’t yet started to throw off a mound, either, but he sounds confident in the current rehab plan.
“I basically don’t have any power in this process,” Sale said. “I show up and I do my work, and there’s gonna be a day when I’m throwing on flat ground and I know if everything goes as planned, we’re gonna go to the mound. When that happens, we do it and so on and so forth through this process. I’m just taking it a day at a time and appreciating that day and doing the work I need to do to get back out there.”
Sale spent the 2020 season in Fort Myers — where he also lives — working out at the Red Sox’s spring training facility. That made for a weird year, as the COVID-19 pandemic and generally weird baseball season often left Sale as the only player on the premises, at times using a hose to “shower” off.
As such, it’s no surprise he’s just excited to be back around his teammates and going through the seemingly mundane baseball rites of spring, like fielding drills and flat-ground throwing.
“I was here by myself all summer. It’s nice to get back and have people around and feeling like a ballplayer again,” he said. “Been doing this a while, and I’ve never been more excited to PFPs, running, feeling normal again.”