This always seemed like a strong possibility, but now it's reality: Chris Sale will be undergoing Tommy John surgery, the Red Sox announced Thursday afternoon.
Sale had been dealing with a sore left elbow for much of spring training, but the last update a couple weeks ago was that after visits with Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Neal ElAttrache, he was diagnosed with a flexor strain and Tommy John was deemed unnecessary at that time.
Still, the dreaded surgery continued to loom over Sale, something the pitcher himself acknowledged. It's unclear what changed, but Sale was expected to resume throwing at some point in the last week or so.
Sale has missed time each of the last two seasons due to injury and will now miss the entire 2020 season, whenever it's actually played.
Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and manager Ron Roenicke were scheduled to address the media on Thursday night.