Chris Sale‘s Tommy John rehab has been mostly behind the scenes. Before this week he’d been working down in Fort Myers, and with the team playing good, exciting baseball he’s been somewhat out of sight, out of mind.
That all changed on Monday, when Sale returned to Fenway Park and rejoined the team. Since then, there’s been constant updates on the 32-year-old lefty, as his progress seemingly has picked up.
On Friday, Sale was spotted on the Fenway Park mound for the first time since August 8, 2019 – his final home start before being shut down due to injury. Sale just recently started throwing off a mound for the first time since his Tommy John surgery last March, and a number of his teammates stopped what they were doing to watch the session.
Chris Sale is throwing off the mound at Fenway now. pic.twitter.com/cVPsKpw9DU— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) June 11, 2021
Chris Sale throws a bullpen - with most of the pitching staff watching intently. pic.twitter.com/zDwx3AH0nx— Sean McAdam (@Sean_McAdam) June 11, 2021
Speaking with the media shortly after the session, manager Alex Cora seemed exceptionally pleased with how Sale looked. “We need to try not to get too excited. It was that good,” Cora said, relaying that Sale told him it was the best he’s felt since surgery.
As Sale’s progress builds up, the question of when and where he’ll return becomes more pressing. On Tuesday, he jokingly told reporters “If it were up to me, I’d be starting tomorrow.” While that’s not realistic – as good as Sale feels – there’s a chance he’s back in the majors sometime around or shortly after the trade deadline.