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)

By Ty Anderson,

Boston Red Sox lefty Chris Sale celebrated his 31st birthday by going under the knife on Monday, as Sale underwent successful Tommy John surgery in Los Angeles, according to the team.

The surgery comes less than two weeks after the team confirmed that Sale would require surgery for his ailing elbow, and after what was basically six months of uncertainty with the 6-foot-6 lefty. After unofficially shutting him down last August (and saying he wouldn’t require Tommy John), the Red Sox cleared Sale for throwing in December, and then went through what was a stop-and-start Spring Training throwing program before the COVID-19 pandemic halted everyone’s program.

With Sale’s surgery a success, recovery now becomes the name of the game for Sale and the Red Sox.

Looking at what is most likely a 15-month recovery, a setback-free recovery would see Sale return to a Boston mound in June 2021, and in the second year of a five-year, $145 million extension Sale signed with the club prior to the start of last season.

Sale, acquired from the White Sox in Dec. 2016, has compiled a 35-23 record, 3.08 ERA, and 763 strikeouts in 519.2 innings of work with Boston. Sale also finished in the top four in Cy Young voting in his first two seasons with Boston before last year’s injury-shortened season, which came with just six victories and a career-worst 4.40 ERA.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.