4:42pm: The surgery was performed today in Los Angeles by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, the Red Sox announced.
4:23pm: We’ve known for some time that Red Sox lefty Chris Sale was destined for Tommy John surgery. But the timing of the procedure was in some doubt given the urgent need for medical resources to deal with the still-growing coronavirus crisis.
Sale has indeed received a replacement ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow, according to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe (via Twitter). Details on the procedure — timing, location, whether other work was also done — remain unavailable.
Several other pitchers have had TJ surgeries in recent weeks. But even if it’s legal (that depends upon location) and there’s a willing medical provider, it remains a legitimate question whether it’s ethical to perform such elective work given the dire need for medical resources around the world. Emma Baccilieri of SI.com just published a careful examination of the topic.
Now that we know Sale has had his elbow work done, it’s possible to set an estimated timeline for his return. There’s no question he’ll miss all of a truncated 2020 season, no matter how late it goes. But his status for 2021 will depend upon the course of his rehab. If all goes well, he’ll be moving toward competitive moundwork this time next year.