March 5, 2020

Sale Has A Flexor Strain, Will Wait One Week Before Throwing (Surgery Remains A Possibility)

Chris Sale is suffering from a flexor strain and will wait another week before throwing a baseball.

Manager Ron Roenicke told reporters Sale's UCL "looks the same as the last image ... doctors have advised him to wait another week before he starts throwing again. He'll start playing catch again. If everything is good we'll progress."

Sale admitted the overall situation "sucks", but said he is thankful that "there's optimism to be had", as neither Dr. James Andrews nor Dr. Neal ElAttrache recommended surgery.
But I know the situation we're in right now, and it's not fun. I know there's an expectation level that not only our fans, my team, you guys, myself hold me to. I haven't met that. I haven't. This is about as tough of a situation as I've ever been in. I was able to get through most of my career doing what I love to do and helping my team win ... over the last year and up to this point, I've done nothing but fall flat on my face.
Jason Mastrodonato of the Herald tweeted:
Sale said he'll know if he needs Tommy John in two or three weeks when he starts throwing again.
Alex Speier of the Globe:
Chris Sale's MRI showed a flexor tendon strain but no further damage to his UCL. But while that means he might avoid Tommy John, it's far from a guarantee, with numerous examples of flexor strains turning into TJ. (Globe)

If doctors don't recommend surgery, you don't get surgery. And there are also examples cited of pitchers who were diagnosed with flexor strains who made it back.

Worth noting: Pitcher elbows often are a mess and don't always allow precise evaluations even with MRIs. Last year, for instance, Rich Hill went on the IL for 2 months with a flexor strain. He had TJ revision surgery in the offseason that revealed UCL damage but no flexor tear.
Sale is far from out of the woods yet.

But, hey: Gerrit Cole gave up four dongs in two innings today. (Travis Demeritte and Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers hit back-to-back pitches for home runs in both the first and second innings! Cole allowed six runs.) The MFY lost 15-11.

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