Earlier: It looks like the Boston Red Sox can breathe a sigh of relief regarding the health of star left-handed pitcher Chris Sale, who has been experiencing elbow trouble.
According to ESPN insider Jeff Passan, Sale likely does not need Tommy John surgery. A meeting with renowned Dr. James Andrews this afternoon confirmed a previous diagnosis of elbow inflammation but apparently didn't show the dreaded damage to the ulnar collateral ligament.
Sale complained of soreness following his last start against the Cleveland Indians on August 13. An MRI showed changes to his elbow from the scan he had in the spring, but did not indicate a firm diagnosis.
Sale is struggling through the worst season of his career. He is 6-11 with a 4.40 ERA in 25 starts.
This latest piece of news about Sale is good for Boston short-term, but potentially tremendous long-term. He signed a five-year extension with the club this spring, worth $145 million.
Expect Boston to be very careful with Sale the rest of the season. The team is 67-59 overall and 6.5 games back of a Wild Card spot in the American League.
It isn't worth rushing Sale back if he's not 100%, especially if a playoff spot isn't on the line.\
Update: The Red Sox released a statement confirming the diagnosis and outlining a treatment plan.
Sounds like Sale's season is over.