Red Sox

Morning sports update: Red Sox reportedly planning ‘conservative approach’ for Chris Sale’s return

The 31-year-old hasn't pitched since 2019.

Chris Sale
Chris Sale hasn't pitched for the Red Sox since 2019. JIM DAVIS/GLOBE STAFF

On Monday, the Bruins lost to the Islanders 1-0. It was Boston’s second consecutive loss after opening the season with a shootout win.

Tomorrow, the Celtics face the 76ers in Philadelphia at 7 p.m.

Chris Sale’s return: Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale, who recorded the final out of Boston’s victorious 2018 World Series run, has not pitched since August of 2019 due to injury.

Last March, he had Tommy John surgery, a procedure that is normally expected to keep a pitcher out for at least a full year.

Looking to his future, the Red Sox are reportedly aiming for a “deliberate” timeline in bringing the 31-year-old back.

“The bulk of the left-hander’s production for the Red Sox will happen in the last three years of the deal,” ESPN baseball reporter Buster Olney noted on Monday, “and while sources say the team would love for Sale to come back and be a factor at some point in 2021, the Red Sox are apt to take a conservative approach.”

Sale is still on a contract that runs through 2024, and is worth a total of $145 million (originally a five-year deal signed in 2019). The deal also includes an option year in 2025. Because of the long-term nature of the contract, Boston isn’t going to rush Sale’s return.

Trivia: The Patriots have held the No. 1 overall pick several times in team history. Can you name the last two top picks New England selected?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: Quarterback and wide receiver.

More from Boston.com:

Bruce Cassidy following the Bruins’ Monday loss:

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Tampa sports super fan Dick Vitale thanked Bill Belichick for “not keeping” Tom Brady in New England:

Former Bruin Willie O’Ree’s thoughts on MLK Day:

On this day: In 2002, Tom Brady, Adam Vinatieri, and a hitherto obscure rule helped the Patriots take an improbable first postseason step in what would become a dynasty.

New England’s 10-point fourth quarter comeback against Oakland in the Divisional Round was capped by a 45-yard Vinatieri field goal through the snow and wind. In overtime, the Patriots won thanks to another field goal, defeating the Raiders 16-13 in Foxboro Stadium’s final NFL game.

Of course, the famous (or infamous) moment was the “Tuck Rule,” when Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson — Brady’s former Michigan teammate — appeared to cause the game-ending fumble on the upstart Patriots quarterback.

But upon review, officials cited the rule, which gave Brady and New England another chance. The Patriots never looked back, winning the game and going on to win the first of six Super Bowls in the Belichick-Brady era.

Patriots Snow Game Boston GlobeDaily highlight: Massachusetts natives Sam and Kristie Mewis led the U.S. women’s national team to 4-0 victory in a friendly on Monday night against Colombia.

Sam notched a hat-trick, including this double-header goal:

And Kristie came on a substitute to score the final U.S. goal of what proved to be a comfortable win:

Trivia answer: Drew Bledsoe and Irving Fryar.

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