For the second time this season, Chris Sale is nearing a return from the injured list.
Sale, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday before the Red Sox took off on a road trip to Chicago and Seattle, is on track to return in time to help the team in their weekend series against the Baltimore Orioles.
“I do believe he’s going to be able to be out of the IL on Friday,” Cora said. “If that’s the case, there’s a good chance he’ll start that game.”
In the meantime, Cora said Sale has been working out at home, where he was throwing off a fake mound. The manager wasn’t sure on the specifics of the setup, but he said the pitcher has “been able to keep his arm in shape” while on the sidelines.
Thankfully, Sale’s second stint on the injured list didn’t last as long as his first, when he was out to recover from Tommy John surgery. But like the first one, it did have pretty significant complications for the team, which was going through a COVID-19 outbreak that has seen 12 players test positive over a matter of weeks.
Sale was meant to start Sunday’s rubber game against the White Sox, but that game went to Nick Pivetta — who was supposed to start Saturday, but was on the COVID IL himself. That meant the Red Sox had to turn to rookie Connor Seabold to make his first major league start in Pivetta’s place.
But with the return of Sale imminent, it seems like all of that should be behind the Red Sox as they head into crunch time.