CHICAGO -- Chris Sale played a light game of catch for the second consecutive day Monday as the Chicago White Sox left-hander moves forward from a flexor-muscle strain, but his chances of returning to the mound Saturday seem to be diminishing.
Sale is eligible to come off the disabled list when the White Sox travel to Cleveland this weekend, but until he has a throwing session that is much closer to full speed, he isn’t expected to pitch in a big league game.
And if he isn’t back by this weekend, he will likely have to go to the minor leagues for an injury-rehab outing.
"He’s playing catch, he’s loosening up, feeling better each day," pitching coach Don Cooper said. "We don’t really have a timetable for a return."
Sale skipped a start in each of the past two seasons because of arm soreness. But while those occurrences happened in May, this one is taking place in April. And Sale didn’t have to go to the DL in either of the past two seasons.
"Listen, the last few years he’s had something and we shut him down. Why? Because we wanted to take care of him, and that’s what we’re doing right now," Cooper said. "When he’s able to go, he’ll be out there and really not one second before."
Even though this injury required a DL stint, manager Robin Ventura said the level of caution has been the same as it was in both 2012 and 2013.
"He’s feeling better and you continue to monitor it," Ventura said. "He’s the one that will let you know when he’s feeling good enough. He’ll know when he’s ready."
Right-handed starter Felipe Paulino, who has been on the disabled list since April 19 with right rotator-cuff inflammation, said he is set to go on a minor league rehab assignment this weekend.