|ESPN.com: Baseball||[Print without images]|
CHICAGO - Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale, out with a flexor muscle strain in his left arm, had his first bullpen session since going on the disabled list April 21.
The left-hander threw 40 pitches Monday at U.S. Cellular Field in what was considered a "light" bullpen session before heading across town for the White Sox's interleague game at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs.
"I'm not going to sit here and lie to you - I feel much better than when we started this process," Sale said. "I threw a bullpen today, got after it pretty good. There's nothing there today that made me think there should be any step backs or any setbacks."
The staff ace and Cy Young Award candidate is on the disabled list for the first time in his career. He's had early-season arm issues in the past, though, missing one May start in each of the past two seasons.
The White Sox are optimistic that Sale can head out on a minor league rehab start in the next two weeks. They will know more about the road ahead Tuesday when they see how Sale comes out of Monday's throwing session.
"Sale had a very good sideline today," general manager Rick Hahn said. "There will be a rehab assignment at some point. We are going to stop with the daily updates on Chris and how he's doing. We'll leave it at the fact that today was a good day and he continues to progress. He's in the phase of rebuilding and building up his arm strength."
Sale's DL stint was retroactive to April 17 so he has been eligible to pitch since Saturday, but he is understanding to the team's desire to have patience.
"Yeah, especially early in the season with the colder weather they just want me to stay loose," Sale said. "There's no need to rush it."