Boston lefthander Chris Sale has started throwing again at the Red Sox's facility in Fort Myers, Fla., returning to action after being diagnosed with a strained flexor tendon in his pitching forearm, The Boston Globe reported Wednesday.
Sale had an MRI on March 2 that led to the diagnosis. Red Sox team doctors and famed sports physicians Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Neal ElAttrache agreed that Sale should try rest and rehabilitation before resorting to surgery.
An offseason bout with pneumonia meant Sale, who turns 31 at the end of the month, was expected to begin the season on the injured list. Since Major League Baseball has postponed the start because of the coronavirus pandemic, Sale might not miss any time or much time when the season eventually starts if his rehab program is successful.
"Obviously there is uncertainty regarding his pitching status generally that we're going to want to resolve," Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said last week, per The Globe. "We're still going to want to resolve that. We're still going to want to progress him.
"We're still going to work even during this time period without games to try and get some progress and some more definition on his status."
Sale posted a 6-11 record with a 4.40 ERA in 2019, the worst year statistically of his career since he entered the Chicago White Sox's rotation in 2012. He posted career lows in starts (25), wins and innings (147 1/3) and the highest ERA.
He has a 109-73 career record (35-23 with Boston) with a 3.03 ERA. He has 2,007 strikeouts in 1,629 2/3 innings over 312 games (232 starts).
Sale signed a five-year, $145 million contract extension in March 2019. The deal runs through the 2024 season and will pay him $30 million in 2020.
--Field Level Media