Chris Sale unlikely to start Game 5 for Red Sox because of illness

Indications are that Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale will not pitch in Thursday's Game 5 of the American League Championship Series because he is still weak from the stomach ailment that sent him to a hospital on Sunday night, according to a report by ESPN's Buster Olney.

The earliest Sale is likely to come back is Game 6 in Boston, per Olney's report.

The left-hander returned to the team Tuesday in Houston. The club hasn't specified Sale's ailment or treatment, though manager Alex Cora said it was nothing serious.

"This is what he said: 'I'm good enough,'" Cora said Tuesday night after the Red Sox beat the Houston Astros 8-2 to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Sale is expected to work off a mound Wednesday before Game 4.

When players for both teams were introduced before the first series game in Houston, Sale lined up with the Red Sox along the third-base line. The seven-time All-Star started the series opener but missed Game 2 and didn't travel with the team after being hospitalized.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.