GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale is out for at least three weeks after breaking a bone in his right foot in what the team described as an accident at home.
Unloading the back of his truck, general manager Rick Hahn explained Saturday.
Sale, though, told quite a different tale. Asked what happened, the three-time All-Star launched into a longer story, deadpanning the whole way, about some intruder breaking into his house at night.
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”So I hit him with a roundhouse, tied him up” and put him by the curb, Sale told reporters.
Asked if he was concerned about his foot, Sale went on with a straight face: ”Well, yeah, by looking at the other guy’s head when I kicked him, it didn’t look good.”
”Initially I was a little worried, but after the X-rays and all that stuff, it worked out,” he said. ”I don’t see this trickling into the regular season at all.”
The 25-year-old lefty was on crutches in camp, and the injury put in jeopardy a possible start for him on opening day. The White Sox begin April 6 at Kansas City.
”Things happen. It was really just a freak incident,” Sale said.
Sale had X-rays on Saturday at a hospital in Glendale. He’ll have more tests after the swelling goes down.
”I came into this spring as ready as I’ve ever been, so this is a minor setback,” he said.
Sale was 12-4 with 208 strikeouts and a 2.17 ERA last season, finishing third in the AL Cy Young Award voting. He missed a month last year with a flexor strain in his left elbow, but returned at top form.
”I mean, essentially it’s a sprained ankle. I’ll be fine,” Sale said. ”They aren’t going to have to cut it off. I’ll be walking on it in a few days. I’m not going to get down on myself.”
At the same time, Sale said he’s not going to rush back.
”I’m not a doctor. I’m here to do my rehab and get it right as fast as I can,” he said. ”That’s what I’m going to do. I’ve never done anything like this before and I don’t know what the timetable is.”
While the White Sox had not yet announced their rotation for the beginning of the season, it was expected that Sale would start on opening day for the third straight season.
If he’s not ready by then, other candidates to fill Sale’s rotation spot include veteran Brad Penny and Carlos Rodon, the team’s first-round draft pick last June.
Jeff Samardzija, Jose Quintana, John Danks and Hector Noesi already are set in the rotation.
”Clearly we’re going to err on the side of caution and we’ll know more in the coming weeks,” Hahn said. ”Due to the off-days early in the season we do not need a fifth starter, so to speak, until April 12. That would buy you another week.”
”But this is something that should heal completely in three weeks and he can resume baseball activities without restriction at that time,” he said.