Boston Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale will undergo Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow, the team announced Thursday.
The reconstruction of the ulnar collateral ligament means Sale will miss the 2020 season and likely part of the 2021 campaign.
The #RedSox announced today that LHP Chris Sale will undergo ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery (Tommy John) on his left elbow.
— Red Sox (@RedSox) March 19, 2020
Sale underwent an MRI exam earlier this month that led to the diagnosis of a flexor tendon strain in his left forearm. At that point, famed orthopedic surgeons Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Neal ElAttrache were hoping rest and rehabilitation would allow Sale to avoid surgery.
“I talked to many doctors,” Sale said on March 5. “World-renowned. They seemed confident. Everyone agreed — take some time off, get some anti-inflammatories in there, start another throwing program and see what we get.”
Sale, a seven-time All-Star, began throwing again Monday at the team’s facility in Fort Myers, Fla., and apparently the elbow didn’t respond favorably.
Sale, who turns 31 on March 30, went on the disabled last August due to elbow inflammation and missed the rest of the season.
Sale posted a 6-11 record with a 4.40 ERA in 2019, the worst year statistically of his career since he entered the Chicago White Sox’s rotation in 2012. He posted career lows in starts (25), wins and innings (147 1/3) and the highest ERA.
He has a 109-73 career record (35-23 with Boston) with a 3.03 ERA. He has 2,007 strikeouts in 1,629 2/3 innings over 312 games (232 starts).
Sale signed a five-year, $145 million contract extension in March 2019. The deal runs through the 2024 season and will pay him $30 million in 2020.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)