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Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale says he’ll be back this season

Chris Sale, a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox baseball team warms up during the first day Spring Training for the full squad at Jet Blue Park in Fort Myers on Monday, February 22, 2021. He is recovering from Tommy John surgery and is it is uncertain when he is returning. Salesmiling

Left-hander Chris Sale plans to be back on the mound for the Boston Red Sox this season and isn’t dismissing the idea of working out of the bullpen to speed the process.

“I would be game for that,” the seven-time All-Star said Tuesday. “The quicker that I can be back on this team, I would like that. That is way above my pay grade and where I’m at right now.

“I’m focused on my next day and getting off the mound and then whatever the next step is, take that.”

Sale, 32, had Tommy John surgery in March 2020 and has ramped up his rehab, throwing a bullpen session on Tuesday at Fenway Park.

He is eager to return to the active roster, and he has no doubt he’ll get there in 2021.

“One hundred percent,” Sale said, knocking on wood (a table) during his answer. “Unless something crazy happens. I’ll be there soon enough.”

Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Sale threw 25 pitches.

“He’s in a great place mentally,” Cora said. “Physically, he looks a lot stronger than two years ago. Just excited that he’s a baseball player again. Now we’ve just got to be patient. …

“It felt good to see him, to have him around, and now we get excited but at the same time, we have to be disciplined, we have to be patient and whenever he’s ready, we know he’s going to contribute.”

Sale, who has 12 career saves, boasts a 3.03 ERA and a 109-73 record. He helped pitch the Red Sox to the 2018 World Series championship.

–Field Level Media