Chris Sale is feeling good about his road to recovery, and so should the Boston Red Sox.
The ace offered offered reporters an encouraging update on his recovery from injury Saturday. Results of an MRI Sale underwent Thursday showed the stress fracture he suffered in his ribs is healing, and Sale expanded on the initial prognosis Alex Cora offered Friday.
“… (MRI results show) the bone is healing,” Sale said Saturday morning, per WEEI’s Rob Bradford. “Everything is shrinking, the edema is going away. So, yeah, good news.
“I have never been through this so I’m kind of floating through outer space with this. From what I heard, they said, ‘ … It’s better. It’s healing. It’s showing signs of healing. The bruising is going down.’ Yeah, good spot.”
The injury has sidelined Sale for the entirety of Red Sox Spring Training and will cause him to to miss Opening Day.
The Red Sox still haven’t set a timetable for Sale’s return and they won’t do so until he begins throwing again. When asked how he’s feeling, he delivered some more good news but also stressed the importance of patience.
“I feel good,” he said, per Bradford. “Night and day. I can run. I can jump. I can twist. I can start doing some things. There is nothing going on with the muscle. It’s just the bone, which is a good thing. But you have to make sure the muscles don’t do something before the bone is ready to handle it. They attach. This pulls on this. And if this pulls too much, it can be irritated or do something to it. Dotting the I’s, crossing the T’s, making sure we’re exactly where we need to be, not around where we need to be and do this thing the right way and go with it.”
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Nevertheless, Sale believes he’s “ahead of schedule” and expects he’ll be able to ramp up his preparations for the season quickly.
“I would assume (like spring training),” Sale responded when asked how he’d prepare to return to action, per Bradford. “I have had some time but I don’t think my starting point is going to be zero. I put in a lot of work and I’ve been doing a lot of work over the last couple of weeks. I feel like it’s coming back pretty quick. It shouldn’t be too long.”
Boston will open its regular season slate Thursday in the Bronx against the New York Yankees. Sale won’t be on the mound, as Red Sox Nation had hoped at the start of 2022, but the waiting game won’t be nearly as long or painstaking as it was last year when he was recovering from Tommy John surgery.