By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — Chris Sale hit a milestone in his comeback from Tommy John surgery on Tuesday. The Red Sox lefty threw off a mound for the first time since the surgery, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom announced Tuesday.

It may not seem like much, but it’s a big step toward Sale’s return to the Boston pitching staff.

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“He did get up off a mound today, really more just to get the feel of it,” Bloom said prior to Boston’s 11-7 win over the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park. “It was not an extensive throwing session, but at the end of the session this morning, he got up off the mound and threw a few pitches off the mound. So that is a great milestone for him.

“It’s the first time he’s done that since the surgery, so it was very light today. But great for Chris and awesome for the organization,” added Bloom.

Sale’s progress has been slowed for a number of different reasons since his March 2020 surgery. A neck injury put things on hold during the winter, and the process was also shut down due to COVID-19. Bloom also said Tuesday that Sale dealt with back discomfort, something that would have just been a “small disruption” had Sale been in the Boston rotation instead of his throwing program.

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By design, the Red Sox are not placing a timetable on Sale’s return. They’re going to let the 32-year-old southpaw take his time and only return when he’s ready, with hopes that the former ace will be back sometime over the summer.

“The next step is obviously to get into regular mound work and mound work with some intensity, and then we can start thinking about facing hitters and mapping out a game schedule,” said Bloom. “I don’t know exactly when that will be, and whenever it is, we’ve got to do it right.

“But the important thing is that we’re moving forward,” Bloom added.

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CBSBoston.com Staff