Here’s the latest on Chris Sale’s projected timeline to return from Tommy John surgery

Hayden Bird, Boston.com Staff

January 19, 2021 | 9:50 AM

On Monday, the Bruins lost to the Islanders 1-0. It was Boston’s second consecutive loss after opening the season with a shootout win.

Tomorrow, the Celtics face the 76ers in Philadelphia at 7 p.m.

Chris Sale’s return: Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale, who recorded the final out of Boston’s victorious 2018 World Series run, has not pitched since August of 2019 due to injury.

Last March, he had Tommy John surgery, a procedure that is normally expected to keep a pitcher out for at least a full year.

Looking to his future, the Red Sox are reportedly aiming for a “deliberate” timeline in bringing the 31-year-old back.

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“The bulk of the left-hander’s production for the Red Sox will happen in the last three years of the deal,” ESPN baseball reporter Buster Olney noted on Monday, “and while sources say the team would love for Sale to come back and be a factor at some point in 2021, the Red Sox are apt to take a conservative approach.”

Sale is still on a contract that runs through 2024, and is worth a total of $145 million (originally a five-year deal signed in 2019). The deal also includes an option year in 2025. Because of the long-term nature of the contract, Boston isn’t going to rush Sale’s return.

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