CHICAGO -- With Chris Sale not returning to the mound this weekend, when his 15-day disabled-list stint ends, it seems fairly certain now that he will need a rehab start before he returns to the rotation.
Manager Robin Ventura isn’t confirming the rehab start yet, but that could merely be the product of not having any of the details worked out at this juncture. Sale is on the shelf with a flexor muscle strain in his left arm.
“He might end up getting to a point where he might have to go do one rehab start, something short,” Ventura said Wednesday morning. “I know in the past we've done some simulated games, which would have to happen first and we would talk about that. If it keeps going further and further we'll probably get closer to doing a rehab assignment.”
Perhaps a rehab start could have been avoided if Sale had already thrown a full bullpen session with a simulated game set to take place soon. But with the two-week mark approaching and his progress limited to a few soft-toss sessions, he is clearly looking at the need for game action before he returns to the White Sox.
The White Sox have said all along they are being as cautious as possible when it comes to Sale and a rehab start would follow that line of thinking.
Ventura did confirm that Felipe Paulino will have a minor-league start, which is expected to take place this weekend. Paulino has been on the DL since April 19 with rotator cuff inflammation.