Chris Sale says there is no tear in elbow, optimistic about 2020

Rob Bradford
August 20, 2019 - 4:45 pm
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When Chris Sale got up in front of the media at about 3:15 p.m. Tuesday there were a few questions that were prioritized regarding his elbow injury.

The most pressing issue was identifying whether or not the PRP injection the pitcher had injected by Dr. James Andrews Monday was due to a tear or strictly because of inflammation. Sale confirmed it was the latter.

"Yeah. Like I said, there was inflammation," said Sale when asked if he could confirm there was no tear. "We got a round of PRP. Never done that before. So that was kind of an interesting process too."

The "process" was also of some importance considering there was some question where Sale might go from here, particularly when it comes to pitching in 2020.

"No, not at all," he said in response to a question about if he was worried he might miss 2020. "Not as we stand here now. Like I said, we rest for a little bit. Four to six weeks, get on a throwing program, kind of re-evaluate it then, kind of see where we go from there."

As for the rest of the 10-minute update from the lefty, the message was very much that of taking it one day at a time and not getting wrapped up in timetables or what it might mean to his future. Here is a transcript of the remainder of Sale's clubhouse press conference:

The process in going to visit Dr. Andrews: "You hopped on a flight, went down to Pensacola, saw Dr. Andrews, obviously the best in the business when it comes to this stuff. Told us that we had some inflammation in the elbow, did a round of PRP, hopped on a flight, came back, here I am."

How his elbow felt: "I mean, obviously pitcher, in general,l have arm issues sometimes. When it’s something new, you want to find out what’s going on and that’s why we were so quick to go down there and get his opinion because he can do this blindfolded. He checked it out and we got some better news obviously, not great news, but about as good as we could get. We rest, I think maybe four to six weeks, get on a throwing program and get back to it."

Did he fear the worst?: "I didn’t feel terrible. It wasn’t anything overwhelming to me. I was actually pretty optimistic the entire time so yeah, just kind of came out of my start against Cleveland, felt a little tight, you know, did some testing and they wanted to do the MRI to make sure and then after the MRI, wanted to go see someone that knows everything about it. We’re covering as much as we possibly could being as cautious as we possibly could. On my end, I obviously appreciate that. Sometimes you don’t have to do that. It’s the team’s choice. They’re just looking out for my best interest and the best interests of the team going forward. It’s something that I appreciate and don’t take lightly."

On no being able to pitch the rest of the season: "It’s tough. This whole season has been kind of a grind. Everyone talks about last year being a dream season. Personally, this has been kind of a nightmare season. Obviously, I wanted to see it through, to keep fighting with the guys. We still have a shot, so anytime someone has to step in and do your job for you, you can’t go out there and fulfill the season, that’s tough. I know there’s going to be some flack with that, I accept that responsibility and take it in stride with my chin up. I’m not going to hide from it. It is what it is. I’m human. I’m an athlete. Things like this pop up. I didn’t want this to happen as much if not more than anybody on the planet. Right now I’m just looking forward to getting through this process. I know I have a lot of people in my corner supporting me and helping me get through this. I have an unbelievable training staff that’s going to put hours of whatever they can to get me through this. Hopefully, I’ll get back to what I’m doing and what I’ve been doing."

On when he first felt this: "No this is just something that popped up after my Cleveland start. Woke up one morning a little more stiff than normal, let it sit for a couple days and once I figured out it was something more than nothing I had to say something."

On idea that he is done for the season: "I’m not sure. I don’t make those calls. I’m living for today. When today is over I’m living for tomorrow. I show up and do what I’m told. Whenever that gets me back on the field, it gets me back on the field."

Being confident about a return in 2020: "I’m very confident. I know who I am and what I can do on a baseball field when I have all my tools and I know what we have in this training room. Our doctors, our trainers, our staff, you know, the support from my teammates, my family, my friends, I have no doubts in my mind."

On this possibly being a result of changing mechanics: "Obviously, I think we’ve got some things to look at as a whole and try to figure out if there was something that I was doing different but if anything, I felt like I was back to normal the last few starts, which was encouraging. Then this happens. You know, like I said, I go through today, once today is over, we get to tomorrow and do that thing. I’m just trying to slow this down as much as possible. I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, I don’t want to rush anything. I want to make sure what’s going on is right and to get this thing ready to go."

Thinking about contract?: "I’m a baseball player. I  don’t worry about contracts. I’m worried about getting my arm right and trying to help this team win again."

On if injury had anything to do with overcompensation from shoulder issue: "Not from where I sit. This is kind of just one of those things that just kind of came up. No real rhyme or reason. Like I said, we’re obviously going to look at some stuff and see if there’s anything I was doing. I’m a pitcher. These things just kind of happen sometimes."