Boston Red Sox left-handed pitcher Chris Sale will reportedly avoid Tommy John surgery that threatened to wipe out his entire 2020 season.
We can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale is apparently planning to pitch this season after all.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Sale is expected to avoid undergoing the dreaded Tommy John surgery that would have ended his season before it could begin.
Fans were ready to hit the panic button when Sale reported left elbow soreness following a throwing session. This is the same elbow that sent him to the injured list last August and has prevented him from taking the mound ever since.
The results of Sale’s MRI were sent to Dr. James Andrews, who treated Sale last year with a PRP injection that was intended as an alternative to surgery. This latest setback led to speculation that this solution hadn’t worked as expected, despite that Sale had been given the green light to throw following his checkup appointment last fall.
The Red Sox sought a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache, raising further questions. You typically don’t need a second opinion when it’s good news. Boston’s brass insisted they were simply being cautious because they wanted to “get this right” but this situation left us all feeling uneasy.
Ron Roenicke addressed members of the media shortly before this news broke from Rosenthal. The Red Sox interim manager indicated that an update on Sale was expected tomorrow since the team wanted to discuss their options internally before going public with the news.
It’s a bit peculiar the news that Sale doesn’t need surgery came out almost immediately after Roenicke’s session with the media wrapped up. Was this news not supposed to leak out? Did the Red Sox not want Roenicke to be the one to deliver the message?
It’s certainly possible that the team hadn’t heard back from Dr. ElAttrache until after Roenicke’s comments. It’s probably more realistic that the team is dodging questions about their ace until they can hash out a rough draft of Sale’s timeline.
Sale was already expected to begin the season on the injured list after battling pneumonia this spring. The Red Sox want to give him a full workload to build up his arm before the season. We should still assume that’s the plan but now that he’s dealing with elbow soreness we can project his season debut to be pushed back even further.
A late start to the season is better than no season at all for Sale. We should be overjoyed by this news but it’s hard to overlook the last bit of Rosenthal’s tweet. Sale doesn’t need surgery “at this point.” That’s not exactly an encouraging sign that Sale’s elbow issues are behind him. He may have dodged a bullet but the gun is still aimed in his general direction.
Whether or not Sale’s elbow remains intact will be a cloud that hangs over the Red Sox for the foreseeable future. We’ll take any shred of optimism we can get at this point though. Sale intends to pitch this season and appears to have avoided going under the knife – at least for now.