Chris Sale took an important step in his recovery.
The Boston Red Sox starting pitcher on Tuesday threw off the mound for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery in March 2020. Sale is rehabbing down in Fort Myers, Fla.
“He did get up off a mound today, you know, really more just to get the feel of it,” Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom told reporters before Tuesday’s game against the Detroit Tigers.
“It was not an extensive throwing session, but at the end of the session this morning, he got up off the mound and threw a few pitches off the mound. So that is a great milestone for him. It’s the first time he’s done that since the surgery. So it’s very light today. But great for Chris and awesome for the organization.”
This development in his rehab was a bit delayed. The 31-year-old went through a bout with COVID-19 in January, and the ensuing quarantine protocols, neck stiffness and a “very minor back thing” early in camp slowed his progress down a bit.
But Bloom believes they’re now close to mapping out a more structured timetable for his return.
“The next step is obviously to get into regular mound work and mound work with some intensity, and then we can start thinking about facing hitters and mapping out a game schedule,” Bloom said. “So I don’t know exactly when that will be, and whenever it is, we got to do it right. But the important thing is that we’re moving forward.”
The Red Sox certainly will be conservative in bringing Sale back, but his return to the rotation at some point this summer is highly anticipated. Boston’s pitching staff already has exceeded the expectations of many thus far.
We’ll see where Sale fits into that.