BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox announced on March 19 that ace Chris Sale needed Tommy John surgery. The global coronavirus pandemic and the halt on most elective surgeries in the United States made for some complications in scheduling that surgery.
Alas, Sale has undergone the surgery, the team announced Monday. The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier first reported the news.
The Red Sox revealed that the surgery was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache at the Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles.
That surgery should put Sale on a path to return to the mound somewhere in the 12-16 month range.
Sale, who turned 31 years old on Monday, endured the worst year of his career in 2019, when he went 6-11 with a 4.40 ERA in 25 starts for Boston. The year before, Sale was the AL Cy Young front-runner before a shoulder injury limited him to just 17 total innings pitched in August and September. He lasted an average of just 4.1 innings in his three postseason starts that year but did close out the World Series with three strikeouts in Game 5 in L.A.
Sale arrived in Fort Myers late for spring training due to an illness, though he began a normal throwing schedule. He was shut down early, though, due to elbow soreness, and he sought three medical evaluations before deciding to resume a throwing program. He was shut down again shortly thereafter, though, before the team announced his need for surgery.
While it’s unknown when or if the 2020 MLB season will start, Sale will miss the first year of his five-year extension, which he signed prior to the 2019 season. He’s signed through 2024 with an option year for 2025.