The news of Chris Sale getting Tommy John surgery was one thing. When he should be getting it was an entirely different conversation.
Speaking on a conference call with reporters Tuesday -- is first media availability since undergoing surgery -- Chris Sale explained the process that led up to actually undergoing the operation in Los Angeles.
"That was a big part of it," he said of making sure there was clearance to get the surgery. "I guess that’s why I’m talking to you guys now instead of two weeks ago or 10 days ago or whatever it was, that going through all this, there were a lot of things that we had to do to make sure that this was right, and Dr. (Neal) ElAttrache and his staff, I think it was Cedar-Sinai at UCLA, they were on a daily conference call with people making sure that what we were doing would have zero effect on anybody else dealing with this virus. That was No. 1 until we got under the knife was making sure that this was A. going to be possible to do, and B. this would not take away the slightest bit of anything from anybody having to deal with this because at the end of the day, a virus is much more important than fixing my bum elbow. ElAttrache made that point many, many times to me, that we have to do this the right way, we have to do this the right way. I even got tested for the virus once I got out there. Obviously it came back negative. That was a big deal for us, to make sure that this was the right thing to do at the right time, that it wouldn’t affect anybody else that was suffering."
When asked about finally having gone through the procedure, Sale noted that there was a sense of relief after it was all said and done.
"It’s kind of funny to say this but I’m actually really happy with where I’m at right now," he noted. "I’ve been chasing a ghost for seven months right now or up to that point. To have a definitive answer, to have a finish line. I’ve said to a few people, everyone is like, this sucks, sorry to hear about the news, all this stuff. For me, this is the first hard answer I’ve had in a long time and at the end of the day I know what I’m getting. I know what’s at the end of this road. I’ve had doubts, I’ve had questions, like I said, for over half a year now, six, seven months. Now, like, obviously, this sucks. I’m putting my team in a tough situation. I’m relying on guys to pick up my slack, which is, you guys know, it’s not my style, it’s not my attitude, it’s not what I want. Moving forward. I now know that I can get after this rehab. It’s going to be nine to 14 months of just getting after it and being able to get my body back in shape and I’m going to have a better elbow than I did before. And that gives me confidence going forward."