Red Sox ace Chris Sale has a stress fracture in his right rib cage and will not be ready for the start of the season, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom announced on Wednesday morning.
Sale sustained the injury while throwing a live batting practice at his alma mater — Florida Gulf Coast University — last month. The soon-to-be 33-year-old felt the effects in the following days before meeting with Dr. Patrick Joyner, who diagnosed the stress fracture.
“I was throwing a live session over at FCGU, it was a Thursday and after that felt a little side discomfort, nothing too crazy — I didn’t think anything of it,” Sale explained. “Over the next handful of days, not only did it stick around, it kind of got worse.”
The live bullpen session in question was live streamed on Instagram. Not by Sale, who does not have any social media accounts, but by Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes.
“Probably a lot of you saw the live BP that was streaming on Instagram,” said Bloom. “Obviously we were not in touch with him at that time (because of the MLB lockout). Talking to him, that’s when this happened. That’s actually the last time that he threw. We found about it when we were able to get back in touch with him.”
Sale joked that his injury was the “curse of social media,” noting that “I get on social media for the first time and look what happens.”
As soon as the lockout ended last Thursday, Sale alerted the Red Sox of the injury in his first phone conversations with Bloom and manager Alex Cora. His timetable as of now has yet to be determined, but he will not be ready for Opening Day.
“We’re talking weeks, not days before we can get a baseball back in his hand,” Bloom said of Sale. “Obviously everything he does is rotational. … He’s doing a lot better now than when he first came in. But we don’t know (a timetable). We just know he’s not going to be ready for the start of the season.”
Sale himself seems optimistic about his recovery. Although disappointed by the prospect of another setback as he approaches the two-year anniversary of his Tommy John surgery, the veteran lefty appears to be maintaining a positive outlook.
“I’ve never dealt with this, but I know bones take, what, six to eight weeks to heal,” he said. “That’s a pretty universally across-the-board timeline. I’m like a dog on a chain right now. I can’t wait to get off this thing. The last couple of years have sucked, and I’ve run into some pretty unlucky circumstances, but what can you do?”
(Picture of Chris Sale: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)