Red Sox's Chris Sale 'Feeling Good' After Undergoing Tommy John Surgery

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 7, 2020

FT. MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 16: Chris sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox looks on during a team workout on February 16, 2020 at jetBlue Park at Fenway South in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale told reporters he's "feeling good" after having Tommy John surgery March 30 to repair his ulnar collateral ligament, per Joon Lee of ESPN.

The next stage of his recovery, rehabilitating the elbow, could be a bit trickier amid the COVID-19 pandemic, however.

"I don't know if there's going to be a safe way to get in there and do my rehab," he said. "But worst case, I can do it at my house. I've been provided some different things for working out and rehabbing obviously my elbow. The first couple of weeks is light stuff anyways, basically working on flexion and extension. I try to do most of that over FaceTime and kind of doing stuff from my house."

Sale also said he understood why some people might have taken issue with him having elective surgery during the coronavirus outbreak in the United States.

"At the end of the day, a virus is much more important than fixing my bum elbow," he said. "[Dr. Neal ElAttrache] made that point many times to me that we have to do this the right way. I even got tested for the virus once I got out there. It came back negative. That was a big deal for us, that this was the right thing to do at the right time and it wouldn't affect anybody else that was suffering."

Sale, 31, is a seven-time All-Star who has finished in the top five of Cy Young voting six times, though he's never won the award. 

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He had one of his worst seasons in recent memory in 2019, however, finishing 6-11 with a 4.40 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 218 strikeouts in 147.1 innings. His 25 starts and six wins were both his fewest since 2011, when he was a reliever, while his ERA was the worst of his career and his strikeouts were his worst mark since 2014.

He received a platelet-rich plasma injection from Dr. James Andrews to address his left elbow issue after the 2019 season, telling reporters he knew Tommy John surgery might eventually be necessary due to issues with that elbow. That possibility became a necessity in spring training when he woke up one morning and couldn't move his left arm. 

And with social distancing measures in place around the United States, Sale has nothing to do but take time to work on his recovery. 

"I have nothing else going on. I can focus 100 percent of my time and effort on this to come back as good as I can," he said. "I owe that to my team, my teammates and to the fans. I'm sitting out a year and the team put its faith in me to pitch at the highest level for five more years. And at best, I'm only going to give them four.

"For me, I take a lot of pride in what I do and don't take it lightly. I have a chip on my shoulder. I guess I have one in my elbow, too."