According to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe, Roenicke noted that Sale is currently two weeks behind due to the illness.
Sale voiced his displeasure with the news via NESN:
The left-hander is coming off what was an injury-plagued season in 2019. In August, Sale was placed on the injured list with elbow inflammation, avoiding the need for Tommy John surgery. It did keep him out of action for multiple weeks, however, and he ended the year with just 25 starts.
Sale posted an ERA of 3.41 or better in each of his first nine MLB seasons, but 2019 was a struggle for him. He went 6-11 with a career-worst 4.40 ERA, although he did strike out 218 batters in 147.1 innings.
Despite his struggles, Sale was expected to come back strong and be the clear No. 1 starter of a Red Sox rotation that has some big-time question marks after trading David Price to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The 30-year-old is a seven-time All-Star and was Boston's ace on its run to a 2018 World Series title, finishing that season 12-4 with a 2.11 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 237 strikeouts in 158 innings. While he wasn't as electric in the postseason (1-2 with a 4.11 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in five appearances), locking up Sale for the long term was a simple decision for Boston's front office.
Keeping him healthy is becoming a concern, though. He went to the injured list twice in the 2018 season, the injury bug bit him again in 2019, and now an illness may cost him starts to begin the 2020 campaign.
For a team already facing an uphill battle to earn a postseason berth in the loaded American League, his injury is a blow even if the IL stint is a short one.
Until Sale is able to return, look for Eduardo Rodriguez to anchor Boston's staff, with Nathan Eovaldi and Martin Perez also playing big roles.