Red Sox ace Chris Sale says rehab is on track, plans return for Spring Training

Adam Fisher
The News-Press

In his first public comments since being cleared to throw after an elbow injury, Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale said Friday that his rehab from an elbow injury continues to go well and he expects to be ready for spring training.

Speaking at a fundraiser at his alma mater Florida Gulf Coast University, Sale spoke briefly to the Naples Daily News about coming back from the injury in his left pitching elbow that ended his season prematurely.

On Sunday, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom told WEEI in Boston that Sale had his follow-up visit with the renowned Dr. James Andrews the week before. Sale said Friday he started throwing a couple weeks ago after getting the all clear.

“We’re progressing really well,” Sale told the Daily News. “We’re about to start ramping up (throwing) now so everything has been great. I’m in a good spot.”

Read:Red Sox all-star pitcher Chris Sale donates $1M to alma mater FGCU

Sale kept his comments short. Instead the 6-foot-6 lefty preferred to keep the focus on the FGCU fundraiser, where he and wife Brianne donated $1 million to the athletic program.

On Aug. 17, in his third season with Boston, Sale was placed on the 10-day injured list because of inflammation in the elbow. He avoided Tommy John surgery, but Sale did not pitch again the rest of the season.

Previously:Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale, a former FGCU star, will not need Tommy John surgery

When he began throwing recently, it was the first time since his last appearance with the Red Sox on Aug. 13.

Sale said there was “no doubt” he’d be ready for spring training. Pitchers and catchers report to Red Sox spring training in Fort Myers, just a few miles up the road from where Sale went to school, on Feb. 11.

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Right now, Sale is throwing three days a week and will increase to a few more days soon, he said. Then he’ll start playing long toss, then throwing off the mound.

Former FGCU baseball ace, seven-time MLB All-Star and World Series Champion Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox makes a $1 million gift to FGCU Athletics during Night at the Nest Gala on Friday, December 6, 2019, at Alice Arena in Florida Gulf Coast University.

“I’m good,” Sale said. “Everything is going really well. We’ve had a really good rehab process. The Red Sox training staff and strength coaches, they’ve taken really good care of me. I’m really appreciative of them.

“We’ve got a lot of work done, and we’ve got a long way to go, but I’ve got good people in my corner.”

More:Former FGCU ace Chris Sale reflects on Boston Red Sox World Series run

Sale went 6-11 last season with a 4.40 earned-run average while battling elbow soreness. It was the first time he’s had a losing record since entering the majors in 2010, the same year he was drafted No. 13 overall out of FGCU.

Sale made seven straight All-Star appearances after becoming a starter in 2012. He went 99-59 on the mound in those seven seasons.

Last year was particularly disappointing for Sale after coming off 2018 when he won a World Series in his second year in Boston. He started Game 1 of the 2018 World Series and recorded the final out in relief of the championship-clinching Game 5.