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Chris Sale looks ahead to rehab assignment

Simulated game goes swimmingly, giving White Sox firmer timetable for return from disabled list

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since Chris Sale landed on the disabled list, he and his superiors have spent most of their media time downplaying concerns, and growing increasingly tired of doing so.

After a simulated game on Saturday, Sale finally feels good enough about his strained left flexor to let his enthusiasm tell the story.

Sale said he was "very encouraged" by his four simulated innings. Mark Parent went a step further, saying Sale told him he felt "brand new" over his 60 pitches, which Sale described thusly:

"I threw everything," Sale said. "The first inning was all fastballs, changeups; the next two were everything in all locations; and the last one was all fastballs, but as hard as I could go. [White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper] said, 'I don’t want you throwing anything other than fastballs, but I want you at max effort.'"

This news means he should get clearance to start a rehab assignment, either at Birmingham or Charlotte. Presuming he needs two starts -- and given how cautious the Sox have been, I'd pick the longer path -- that would put him back in Chicago for the Yankees series on May 25.