Chris Sale has had to do more than just recover from the Tommy John surgery he underwent in March 2020.
The Boston Red Sox pitcher contracted COVID-19, dealt with neck stiffness and had a minor back issue. But the good news is that the hard-throwing lefty threw off a mound Tuesday for the first time since his surgery.
Sale always was projected to return this summer. When exactly this summer remains to be seen. But despite all his setbacks, the Red Sox still are planning for the same sort of timeline.
“Yeah. I think we’re getting closer to a point where we can start mapping out a timetable,” chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom told reporters Tuesday during a Zoom press conference. “I don’t have one, but he is progressing. He started throwing with a lot more intensity, today he got up off the mound, it was pretty light work. 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. I don’t know exactly when that will be. Whenever it is, it is. We gotta do it right. But the important thing is that we’re moving forward.”
It’s no surprise the Red Sox will be extremely careful in how they handle Sale’s return. But he certainly will provide a boost to an already pretty strong rotation, and will be a welcome addition to the first-place American League East team.