Sale throws, but return still unknown

CHICAGO -- Chris Sale participated in a light bullpen session Sunday morning, but the Chicago White Sox seemed no closer to determining when the ace of the staff might return to the rotation.

Sale has been on the disabled list officially since Monday with a flexor muscle strain in his left arm, but the move was retroactive to his last start, April 17 against the Boston Red Sox. That means he would be eligible to return for Saturday’s game at Cleveland, but time is running out for that to happen.

His light side session Sunday was being used as a guide to move forward and not necessarily as a build-up to his eventual return. After going through the rehab process in the training room the past week, Sunday was the first time Sale had thrown a ball since his last outing.

“He’ll have to do something (before he comes back),” manager Robin Ventura said. “We’re not just going to send him out there if he hasn’t thrown and we’re not 100 percent positive he’s OK.”

Ventura still hasn’t ruled out the idea that Sale could pitch next weekend.

“I would say he’d have to do something in the next three days,” Ventura said. “There’s nothing on the schedule (for rehab assignment) right now. We’re just trying to make sure he feels good.”

Sale, who became a starting pitcher in 2012, is on the disabled list for the first time in his career. He has skipped a start, though, in each of his last two seasons because of arm soreness.

The left-hander is 3-0 with a 2.30 ERA in four starts to open the season. The 25-year old is also 35-25 in his career with a 2.93 ERA, numbers that include 79 relief appearances between 2010 and 2011.