Boston Red Sox

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JULY 18: Starting pitcher Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox pitches at the top of the third inning of the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park on July 18, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – JULY 18: Starting pitcher Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox pitches at the top of the third inning of the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park on July 18, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

The Red Sox appear to have dodged a major bullet with lefty Chris Sale, as it’s not believed that Sale will have to undergo Tommy John surgery following a Monday consultation with Dr. James Andrews.

From ESPN’s Jeff Passan:

Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale is expected to avoid Tommy John surgery after a second opinion on his injured left elbow from Dr. James Andrews confirmed a previous diagnosis of inflammation, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN… Initial readings showed changes from the MRI he took in the spring but weren’t clear enough to definitively judge whether there was damage to his ulnar collateral ligament.

That noise you just heard was a sigh of relief from the offices of Fenway Park.

A recommendation for Tommy John would have shelved Sale for the remainder of this season, and likely all of the 2020 season as well, a doomsday that would have left the Sox without their $30 million ace until Opening Day 2021.

Where the Sox go from here with Sale, whether it’s shutting him down for the remainder of the season to prevent further injury or trying to work him back into the picture should the Red Sox continue their recent hot streak, remains to be seen. Passan did note, however, that the timeline for Sale’s return remains unclear.

Sale has a 6-11 record, 4.40 ERA, and 218 strikeouts in 147.1 innings of work this season.