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Chris Sale injury: White Sox will place ace lefty on 15-day disabled list

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Any time a pitcher has an elbow or forearm injury, serious implications loom even if the club remains positive.

Ed Zurga

The Chicago White Sox plan to place ace left hander on the 15-day disabled list flexor muscle strain in his pitching arm, according to CSN Chicago's Dan Hayes. The 25-year-old is off to a great start this season, posting a 2.30 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP in four starts.

Even though the club is "upbeat" and "hopeful," there is still some concern that future diagnoses might be more serious than a two week break.

Sale is a notable example of pitchers that employ the "inverted W" during pitch delivery. The motion, that describes the pitcher's elbows rising in unison, is not in and of itself the cause of injury. According to Chris O'Leary's extensive research on the issue, the inverted W causes a timing problem that adds stress to the player's shoulder and elbow.

This will be Sale's first trip to the disabled list, but it might not be his last. Elbow injuries tend to lead to Tommy John surgery, yet sometimes a pitcher is able to pitch through the early stages of a UCL tear. Their effectiveness often begins to diminish, and the end result is an operation and a year of recovery and rehabilitation.

Since the Sox are being optimistic, it's definitely too early to assume Sale will need Tommy John, but the situation could unfold similarly to Kris Medlen's in Atlanta. Initially, the club was publicly optimistic ... and well, you know what happened there.

Chicago recalled right hander Andre Rienzo from Triple-A. He's the most likely replacement for Sale's next scheduled start -- Tuesday against Justin Verlander and the Tigers.