Boston Red Sox

Apr 2, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (41) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

By Matt McCarthy,

Red Sox ace Chris Sale has been cleared to begin his offseason throwing program after visiting with noted orthopedist Dr. James Andrews last week.

Sale was shut down in August with elbow inflammation and was given a PRP injection in an attempt to address the issue. Andrews appears to feel comfortable with Sale’s progress since then, reportedly telling the lefty to begin throwing so he can try and be ready in time for spring training.

The news was first reported by Rob Bradford.

The initial timetable on Sale’s shutdown was six weeks, but after the Red Sox missed the playoffs the team decided to slow-play the lefty’s recovery efforts.

While Andrews clearing Sale to throw doesn’t guarantee he will be ready for spring training or will avoid any setbacks, it is certainly positive news for the Red Sox, who desperately need their ace to return to form. Sale is coming off the worst season of his career, going 6-11 with a 4.40 ERA in 25 starts in 2019.

The lefty is entering the first year of a five-year, $145 million contract extension next season.

The Red Sox enter 2020 with Sale, David Price, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Nathan Eovaldi in their starting rotation. Rick Porcello is a free agent.

You can hear Matt McCarthy on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s own Hardcore Baseball podcast and on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.