Chris Sale, who underwent Tommy John surgery on March 30, is days away from getting his cast off.
Then, it’s back to work.
The Red Sox pitcher, speaking to media on a conference call on Tuesday, said he’s “feeling good” nine days after surgery to repair his ulnar collateral ligament, and is planning to “start moving it around and getting after it” as soon as his doctors give him the OK.
With the coronavirus pandemic, rehab will look a little different for Sale. He said he’d like to work out at the Red Sox’ spring training facility at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, but is unsure if there’s a way to do so safely with venues shut down.
“Worst case, I can do it at my house,” he said. “I’ve been provided some different things for working out and rehabbing my elbow, and even the first couple of weeks, it’s just light stuff anyway.”
Sale has the option to work with therapists over FaceTime, he said, and either way – he’s just glad the surgery is past him.
“I’ve been chasing a ghost for seven months now,” he said. “To have a finish line …
“This is the first hard answer I’ve had in a long time, and in the end of the day, I know what I’m getting, I know what’s at the end of the road. I’ve had doubts, I’ve had questions for over a year now.”
Sale said he knew that Tommy John was always an option in his career, but that he was happy he and the Red Sox tried everything they could.
“I didn’t want to jump the gun, say, ‘Oh, let’s get the surgery,'” he said.
“I really thought I was in the clear, I was ripping this thing, I was getting after it, I had all the confidence in the world coming into spring training that my arm was going to be as good, if not better, than it has been my entire career.”
But then, one day, he woke up and he couldn’t move his arm. It turned out Tommy John was the answer, after all.
Sale was sidelined with pneumonia for the start of spring training. Did it cross his mind that it could have been COVID-19? Yes, of course, he said.
He got tested for the flu – it was negative. But his family hasn’t been sick, which he thinks is a good sign. He’d like to get tested to see if his body has the antibodies for the disease, just to know for sure.
When baseball does return, obviously Sale won’t be playing – he’s out of commission for at least the entirety of the 2020 season (whatever that looks like). But he looks forward to the day the game comes back, for it to “bring a little bit of levity” to the world.
For now, he’s spending a lot of time with his family – his three-year-old “runs at 100 miles an hour” from the minute he wakes up – and he’s playing a lot of wiffle ball (he’s throwing with his right arm).
“I am just focusing on this rehab,” he said, “So I can be better when I come back.”