Red Sox News: Chris Sale gives an update on Tommy John surgery

FORT MYERS, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 17: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox throws a bullpen session during a team workout at jetBlue Park at Fenway South on February 17, 2020 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
FORT MYERS, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 17: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox throws a bullpen session during a team workout at jetBlue Park at Fenway South on February 17, 2020 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale gave an update yesterday on his recent Tommy John surgery and how he plans to go about his rehab during the COVID-19 crisis.

There’s been a bit of news lately in the baseball world after what’s felt like an eternity of nothing. Yesterday, Red Sox lefty Chris Sale had a conference call with the media and spoke about several topics including his recent surgery, his rehab plan, and even COVID-19.

Sale had the surgery last week which came as a surprise to some while it was expected by others. The surprise was more because the Red Sox denied vehemently that he would need the surgery. Then as soon as the season was put on ice, they announced he’d be going under the knife.

If you weren’t shocked that he’d need to get the surgery then you’re part of the majority, at least the majority that I’ve seen. Between his body type and throwing motion, it’s no surprise that his arm would eventually need repairing. It was good to hear from the southpaw though as he’s been pretty quiet during the whole situation. There have been some quotes here and there but nothing similar to a direct question/answer session like yesterday.

"“It’s funny to say this but I’m actually really happy with where I’m at right now,” Sale said. “I’ve been chasing a ghost for seven months, to have a definitive answer. To have a finish line.”"

I’m not shocked to hear that he’s relieved despite the long road ahead, he’s been on this ride even longer than Red Sox Nation. Several years of breaking down as the seasons progresses towards the fall have finally been concluded. Hell, even last year he had to be shut down early due to issues in his throwing arm.

Now that the surgery has been completed, he can focus solely on rehabbing and getting back to full strength. There’s no baseball to worry about as far as we know in 2020 so there’s no reason to be rushing to get back onto the mound.

Not only did he miss the final chunk of the season but then the entire winter felt like a choose your own adventure story. If Sale chose to just rehab then he’d have to fast-forward to page 33. If he chose to get surgery then it was off to page 65 to see what his fate would be. However, by getting the surgery when he did in the wake of the current medical crisis, as bad as this sounds, it was probably the best-case scenario.

"“The thing I was upset with the most was that I truly thought I was in the clear,” he said Tuesday. “You guys saw me throwing bullpens, you saw me playing long toss. I was ripping the thing. I was getting after it. I had all the confidence in the world coming into spring training that my arm was going to be as good, if not better, than it has been my entire career.”"

Getting surgery during an unprecedented time when hospitals and medical staff are stretched to their max never feels like a good idea. But the Red Sox and Sale both did their due diligence to make sure they weren’t going to further tax and already exhausted staff.

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We all know the ups and downs that Sale went through this winter with his pesky left elbow. One day it seemed like we were getting the Conductor back as we knew him, and then he’d have to stay off the hill for a week. The surgery now gives anyone and every one an idea of what the future holds. No more doubts, no more questions, just answers and a goal for the future.

After what felt like months of denial it’s refreshing to see that a path has finally been chosen and we’re all heading down it. It’s still unknown whether or not we’ll be seeing any Red Sox baseball in 2020, and if we do, just what it’ll look like. It is pretty clear that we won’t be seeing Sale on the bump anytime soon and maybe not even until mid-2021.

I think by now we’ve all heard or read the report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan about the league trying to configure a way to play the beginning of the season entirely in Arizona. How exactly that would work is mind-boggling and I don’t envy anyone that is a part of those meetings. So even if we do get to see the Red Sox on the field this summer, we very well may not be able to see them inside the confines of Fenway Park.

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The world is still very uncertain right now as it seems like we’re getting hourly updates on COVID-19 and where it puts everyone. As far as Chris Sale is concerned, having the surgery at this time may have been in his best interest. With no need to rush through his rehab he can properly heal and get back to Boston at full strength. I for one can’t wait to see the lefty back on the mound baffling hitters with his slider on a regular basis.