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    Thursday, July 18, 2024

    Red Sox ace Chris Sale getting third opinion on injured elbow

    Fort Myers, Fla. — Chris Sale is taking his time before making a final decision about his sore throwing elbow.

    Even after Red Sox doctors and orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews reviewed the results of an MRI on Tuesday, the left-hander was cautious.

    "We are waiting for one more opinion," said interim manager Ron Roenicke on Wednesday morning. "And we want to make sure that we get everybody's opinion on this."

    The final opinion will come from Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles. He was set to review the images on Wednesday and share his thoughts with Sale. A decision is expected by Thursday.

    Though surgery has not been specifically mentioned by the Red Sox, it would appear possible, if not likely, given Sale also had elbow inflammation last August. At the time, rest and rehab was recommended. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection and was shut down for the rest of the season.

    PRP injections can be useful for pitchers trying to avoid surgery, particularly when they're trying to stay healthy enough to pitch through the season and/or a playoff race.

    Given the low probability that the Sox contend in 2020, another injection wouldn't make much sense, at least on the surface.

    Sale will leave it up to the top medical experts to decide.

    "We need to get this right," Roenicke said. "Dr. Andrews did see it and read it, the MRI, and I don't want to comment on what he said until we find out from one more opinion on what they think. And then Chris, once he gets all the information, Chris will let you guys know and we'll talk to you guys and tell you more on his end what he's thinking."

    Sale originally felt elbow soreness on Monday, one day after throwing 15 pitches in his first live batting practice session of spring training.

    As of Wednesday there was "no pain," Roenicke said.

    But Sale is concerned.

    "Like we all are," Roenicke said. "But until he hears from everybody and knows exactly what he wants to do — he wants a plan. He doesn't want to go into it like, 'maybe we should do this, maybe we shouldn't.' He wants to go into it with, 'this is what we're going with and we'll see how it goes, whatever the outcome is after that.'"

    At the very least, Sale will miss a month at the start of the season, Roenicke said. It's likely to be more.

    "Don't read into this that this is the worst-case scenario and that's why we're getting these opinions," he said. "We want to make sure we're right in what we do and as many opinions as we get."

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