FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Having received word he was dealing with a flexor strain and not, as had been feared, further damage to his ulnar collateral ligament, you might have expected Chris Sale to be awash in relief when he met with reporters Thursday morning.
Although multiple orthopedic experts told Sale in recent days that Tommy John surgery isn't necessary now, Sale hardly seemed like someone who had been given good medical news.
To the contrary, Sale expressed frustration, uncertainty and a healthy serving of guilt as he discussed the condition of his elbow and his inability to deliver for a team which gave him a five-year, $145 million contract extension less than 12 months ago.
"It sucks,'' said a disconsolate Sale. "I obviously don't want to be sitting here giving you this information. Tough spot, for myself, this team and the organization going forward. ... There's optimism to be had and I'm thankful for that, but I know the situation we're in right now and it's not fun ... this is about as tough a situation as I've ever been in.''
And he suggested he's far from out of the woods when it comes to undergoing Tommy John surgery.
"That's what the future holds for me, that's what we'll determine in another two to three weeks,'' he said. "I'm going to know in another two weeks. I guess we'll find out.''
Again and again, in a 15-minute exchange with reporters, Sale referenced his guilt over being unable to deliver since he signed his extension.