BOSTON (CBS) — It’s not looking good for the Red Sox or Chris Sale. The team is now seeking a third opinion on Sale’s left elbow before making a decision on the pitcher’s status.
Teams don’t usually seek a third opinion on good news. Chances are Sale’s stint on the Injured List is going to be a lengthy one, and the lefty could be out the entire 2020 season.
Sale underwent an MRI after he experienced pain following a simulated inning on Sunday. The Red Sox reviewed the MRI and then sent it to Dr. James Andrews, who has examined Sale’s elbow a few times over the last year. Now that they’ve heard from Dr. Andrews, the Boston medical staff also wants to hear what Dr. Neal ElAttrache has to say about the MRI before determining the next course of action with Sale.
“At this time, we are waiting for one more opinion,” interim manager Ron Roenicke told reporters in Fort Myers, Florida on Wednesday. “We want to make sure we get everybody’s opinion on this. Dr Andrews did see it and read it, the MRI, and I don’t want to comment on what he said until we find out from one more opinion. Once he gets all the information, Chris will let you guys know and will talk to you guys.
Usually, seeking the opinions of Dr. Andrews and Dr. ElAttrache leads to Tommy John surgery, which would end Sale’s 2020 season before it even began. But on Wednesday, Roenicke didn’t want everyone to jump to any conclusions just yet.
“Don’t read into this that this is the worst-case scenario and that’s why we’re getting these opinions. We want to make sure we’re right in what we do,” he said.
The Red Sox seeking a third opinion doesn’t bode well for Sale, who has been limited by injuries in each of the last two seasons. He barely finished the 2018 season because of shoulder inflammation, and then missed the final six weeks of the 2019 campaign with elbow inflammation. He received an injection from Dr. Andrews last August and didn’t resume throwing until November. Sale didn’t think he would need surgery on his elbow two weeks ago, but things have changed pretty quickly for the Boston lefty.
Sale is entering the first year of a five-year, $145 million contract extension he signed with the Red Sox last spring.