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Rehab stint unlikely for Sale, but return uncertain

Rehab stint unlikely for Sale, but return uncertain play video for Rehab stint unlikely for Sale, but return uncertain

CHICAGO -- Chris Sale played catch for a second straight day, but there's no timetable for his return.

The White Sox ace, who was placed on the disabled list retroactive to April 18 with a flexor muscle strain in his left arm, is eligible to come back this weekend in Cleveland. That return does not seem plausible as of now.

"We're not worried about if he throws when the time's up on the disabled list," said White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper. "First of all, we've got to play some more catch, and then we've got to get to a light sideline and get all that on track.

"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. And when he's able to go, he'll be out there and really not one second before.

"He's playing catch. He's loosening up, feeling better each day," Cooper said. "We don't really have a timetable. I haven't spoken to [White Sox head athletic trainer] Herm [Schneider] yet today, but we speak on the bench every night when it comes, and he's starting to feel even better as days go on."

White Sox manager Robin Ventura doesn't believe Sale will need to go on a Minor League rehab stint before he comes back, with Sale having the ability to get that work done with the White Sox. He also doesn't feel the team is taking any extra precautionary measures this time compared to the time in each of Sale's previous two years as a starter that he has been shut down.

"No. It's the same. It's the same," Ventura said. "The times before, the first time we were more cautious than anything moving him from being a starter. But having gone through it, this is just part of stuff that has happened to him before, you just want to make sure.

"He's the one that will let you know when he's feeling good enough. He'll know when he's ready."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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