Sale has surgery after comebacker breaks pinkie

July 18th, 2022

NEW YORK -- Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale underwent surgery on his left pinkie on Monday, a day after he was forced to exit Boston's 13-2 loss to the Yankees when an Aaron Hicks comebacker fractured the finger. The Red Sox gave no timetable for Sale's return following the operation, which was described as an "open reduction and internal fixation of a left fifth finger proximal phalanx fracture."

“One look at this finger, I knew [it was broken] immediately -- that feeling of, that kind of cold water rushing through your body when something like that happens,” Sale said after the game. “As soon as I hit the ground, I looked down, the finger is gone. It sucks.”

Sale threw 24 pitches before right-hander Hirokazu Sawamura took over on the mound in the first inning. The ball bounced into right field for an RBI single after it hit Sale, scoring Gleyber Torres. Sale appeared to be in intense pain and promptly walked off the mound to show manager Alex Cora that his left pinkie was crooked before leaving the game through the tunnel.

Sale’s counterpart, Yankees right-hander Gerrit Cole, sympathized with Sale and offered his support after the game.

“As a group, we really felt bad about it,” Cole said. “It's well documented how hard he works and what he's had to overcome to put himself in this position. For that to happen, it's a good thing he's got the tenacity that he has.

“It's a good thing he's got all the high character qualities that you're going to need to have to overcome something like this. It's so unfortunate that he didn't even get a foothold before it happened. We're honestly thinking about him and wishing him the best.”

Dating back to 2018, Sale has dealt with numerous injuries and he said it’s par for the course.

“Everyone gets knocked down. I have to get back up,” Sale said. “That’s where I’m at again. I get back up, dust yourself off, clean it up and get back to it.”

Sale, who missed most of 2021 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, started this season on the injured list because of a stress fracture in his right rib cage and returned to action on July 12 against the Rays.

Sale said it’s not fair to the team if he pouts about his most recent injury. He was philosophical after the game and told the media that there are people in the world who are worse off than he is right now.

“I have to deal with what comes, put one foot in front of the other and get back to pitching,” Sale said. “Look around. Open your eyes, read the news. Look anywhere. There are bad things that happen to people every day that are way worse than this. I’m just holding tight to that. I can overcome this. Broken finger, it’s not the end of the world.

“Unfortunately, in sports, this comes with the tax. I’m who I am and I’m missing more time. That eats me alive. But I have to have something to look back on and hold on to and that’s what it is. There are really tough times in this world. A broken finger isn’t the worst of it.”