BOSTON — As ominous as it is to pay a visit to Dr. James Andrews, Chris Sale never felt too concerned.

Speaking publicly about his injured elbow for the first time since he was placed on the injured list, Sale said he received encouraging news from Andrews on Monday.

“We got some better news,” Sale said. “Obviously not great news, but about as good as we could get.”

Sale was asked directly if Andrews assured him there was no damage to his ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow and said yes.

He was then asked directly if he was sure there was no tear, and again Sale said yes.

“There was inflammation,” Sale said, confirming the original diagnosis.

Never was Sale concerned that Tommy John surgery would be necessary. His elbow has never bothered him until after the Cleveland start last Tuesday, when it felt stiff and never loosened up.

“I didn’t feel terrible,” Sale said. “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, 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.”

Sale received a platelet-rich plasma injection that should begin the healing process, though he will be shut down six weeks and is out for the season.

“We got a few dead days here for the next couple days, then get back on some shoulder strengthening, some forearm strengthening, then start getting ready for a throwing program,” he said.

Manager Alex Cora said that even if the Red Sox make the postseason, “it’s going to be almost impossible” for Sale to recover in time to pitch again.

The lefty is eyeing a return in 2020.

Until then, he and the Red Sox need to figure out what went wrong this season.

One question that remains is about his shoulder, which suffered from inflammation last fall and left him feeling a bit strange in spring training, when he first started adjusting his mechanics. But he never complained about his shoulder and has said all along that he’s healthy.

Still, his mechanics continued to be altered throughout the season.

“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,” he said. “But if anything, I felt like I was back to normal the last few starts, which was encouraging. Then this happens.”

Is it possible he was overcompensating for the shoulder issues and that might’ve led to the 2 mph loss in velocity and eventually a stiff elbow?

“Not from where I sit,” he said. “This is kind of just one of those things that just kind of came up. No real rhyme or reason.”

INDIANS: Corey Kluber’s comeback has been sidetracked.

Cleveland’s ace will be shut down for two weeks with an abdominal strain, an injury he sustained as he was rehabbing from a broken arm.

Kluber was pulled from a minor league outing for Triple-A Columbus on Sunday after one scoreless inning because of abdominal tightness.

MARINERS: Pitcher Felix Hernandez will rejoin the starting rotation this weekend after missing three months with right shoulder stiffness.

Hernandez pitched 3-plus innings Monday night for Triple-A Tacoma in his fourth rehab appearance, giving up one run on four hits and three walks while striking out five.

BRAVES: Reliever Jacob Webb is done for the season after being placed on the 60-day injured list with an ailing right elbow.

The 26-year-old Webb had been one of the most effective pitchers in Atlanta’s shaky bullpen, with a 4-0 record, two saves and a 1.39 ERA in 36 appearances. But he had not pitched in the big leagues since going on the 10-day IL with an elbow impingement July 13.

METS: Reliever Robert Gsellman has a partially torn lat muscle that puts the rest of his season in jeopardy, a significant blow to New York’s improved bullpen as the team chases a playoff spot.

Gsellman was placed on the 10-day injured list last weekend, retroactive to Aug. 14.

CUBS: The team activated reliever Steve Cishek from the 10-day injured list.

RANGERS: Right fielder Nomar Mazara was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left oblique strain.


Comments are not available on this story.