The Boston Red Sox announced on Thursday that starting pitcher Chris Sale will undergo Tommy John surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow.
Sale, who missed the start of spring training with pneumonia, experienced soreness in his elbow at the start of his training and underwent testing. After sending the scans in early March to renowned Dr. James Andrews and then receiving a third opinion from Dr. Neal Ellattrache, the evaluation determined Sale could avoid surgery.
He resumed throwing on Monday, during the MLB shutdown, but it became apparent that soreness in the elbow remained and both sides opted to have him undergo elbow surgery.
The Red Sox placed Sale on the injured list in August with elbow inflammation, but the initial diagnosis determined he could avoid TJS. After resting and rehabilitating the elbow injury over the offseason, the 30-year-old will likely now need to receive the surgery.
Sale will miss the entire 2020 season and could be sidelined early for the 2021 season, given the long recovery process.
Less than a year after signing Sale to a five-year, $145 million extension, the Red Sox now face great uncertainty for his long-term outlook. Given the holes that already existed in this rotation, it’s going to be a rough year in Boston whenever the MLB season returns.