If, indeed, there is a 2020 baseball season, it will take place without Chris Sale.
The Red Sox announced Thursday afternoon that Sale will undergo ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery -- commonly known as Tommy John surgery -- and will miss the remainder of the 2020 season. Recovery time for pitchers undergoing Tommy John surgery is typically 12-18 months.
"Needless to say, this is a tough thing for Chris and a tough thing for all of us here at the Red Sox,'' chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said in a conference call with reporters. "While we are bummed for him, we know that he's going to attack this rehab as he has everything else in his career and we have confidence he's going to do well coming out of it.''
Sale's 2019 season was cut short in August when he experienced elbow pain. He did not pitch after Aug. 13, and visited with famed orthopedist Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion. Andrews was hopeful that a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection would prove sufficient to his recovery.
After a period of rest and rehab, Sale began an off-season throwing program and felt strong throughout the start of spring training during bullpen sessions. But the day after a 15-pitch live batting practice session on March 1, Sale experienced some discomfort the following day, prompting additional tests and an MRI, which revealed a strained flexor tendon.