Red Sox's Chris Sale Undergoes Surgery on Finger Injury; No Return Timetable

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 18, 2022

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale throws to Tampa Bay Rays batter during a baseball game Tuesday July 12, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette)
AP Photo/Scott Audette

Boston Red Sox star Chris Sale underwent surgery on his left pinky finger.

The team didn't provide a possible window for his return but hasn't ruled him out for the remainder of the year, according to The Athletic's Chad Jennings.

Sale's second start of 2022 summed up how his last few years have unfolded.

In the first inning of a 13-2 loss to the New York Yankees, the southpaw took a line drive from Aaron Hicks off his pinky. He was diagnosed with a fractured finger pending further evaluation.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Chris Sale had to leave the game after a line drive came back and hit him directly in the hand ๐Ÿ˜ณ <a href="https://twitter.com/BRWalkoff?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BRWalkoff</a> <br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/TalkinYanks?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TalkinYanks</a>)<a href="https://t.co/wachEIi0EX">pic.twitter.com/wachEIi0EX</a>

After undergoing Tommy John surgery, Sale missed the entire 2020 season. He returned to the mound in August 2021 and looked like his usual self, posting a 5-1 record with a 3.16 ERA and a 3.69 FIP in nine starts.

Injuries were again a problem with the 2022 campaign on the horizon. He suffered a stress fracture in his ribs while working out during the owners' lockout. That cost him the first half of the regular season.

Then came the fractured pinky that tentatively removed him from the rotation for another month.

Winning the division is probably out of the question for the Red Sox, considering how sizable a lead the first-place New York Yankees have in the division. Boston's odds of claiming a wild-card berth are just 39.8 percent at FanGraphs.

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

With their loss today the Red Sox are now 0-10-1 in series vs the AL East this season.<br><br>This is the first time Boston has gone without a series win against teams in their own division entering the All-Star Break. <a href="https://t.co/dvj56pGuuZ">pic.twitter.com/dvj56pGuuZ</a>

Beyond what Sale's newest injury meant in the short term, it added more uncertainty to the franchise's outlook beyond 2022 since he's still under contract for three more years.