UPDATE: Sale has been diagnosed with a finger fracture. Now the Red Sox medical team will need to determine if surgery is necessary. The best case scenario for Sale is a simple fracture that doesn’t requite surgery. He could potentially return in as soon as 8 weeks, just before the playoffs. Unfortunately it’s very possible Sale’s season is over, and surgery may be necessary.
Chris Sale has horrible injury luck. The Red Sox ace was making his season debut after missing the first half of the season with a rib cage fracture, and he also recently recovered following Tommy John surgery. After recording just two outs Sunday, Sale took a line drive to his left hand and immediately walked off of the field. As Sale held up his hand it was clear his pinky was badly injured.
Based on what we could see, this looks like a dislocated PIP joint to the pinky. This is the middle joint of the finger. When dislocated there can be a wide range of outcomes, and it doesn’t always involve a fracture. The best case scenario is if the dislocated joint can be popped back into place immediately, and no additional damage occurs. Often a fracture is involved, though. How much time Sale misses would depend on the type and severity of the fracture and if there is also any damage to a tendon or ligament. If surgery is needed his season would likely be over.
For now we will hope that this is a painful injury that comes with an IL stint, but not a lengthy one. While Sale’s season is more than likely over, it’s not a sure thing that the line drive led to a fracture. simple fracture that doesn’t require surgery would take around two months to heal, then additional time would be needed to resume a throwing program. That would make it tough to return, although he could provide a boost in the playoffs. What horrible luck in a sad string of injuries.