GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Chris Sale sustained an avulsion fracture on the lateral side of his right foot as the result of an accident at his Arizona home Friday. The left-hander is expected to be sidelined three weeks before resuming baseball activities.
Sale, 25, underwent X-rays this morning at Banner Estrella Hospital in Glendale. He will undergo further tests once the swelling in his foot has subsided. At that point, his status for Opening Day will be better determined.
The cause of the injury was described by general manager Rick Hahn as involving "unloading some stuff off the back of his truck and landing awkwardly when he got off the back of the truck."
Sale added that it was "just a freak incident. I've just done it a million times and this time it didn't work out so well.
"It's essentially a sprained ankle. I'll be fine. They aren't going to have to cut it off. It's still here," he said. "I'll be walking on it in a few days. Just doing therapy."
The left-hander is considered a prime contender for the 2015 American League Cy Young Award and sits atop the White Sox rotation, forming a stellar trio with newly acquired Jeff Samardzija and left-hander Jose Quintana. He has dealt with physical problems in each of his three seasons as a starter with the White Sox, missing from April 18 until May 22 in 2014 with a flexor mass muscle strain that marked his first trip to the disabled list.
"I've never done anything like this before. I don't know what the timetable is. I know that I'm going to be very diligent on it and do all the necessary stuff to get right. It is what it is."
Thanks to a 12-4 record and a 2.17 ERA, Sale, who turns 26 on March 30, finished third in the 2014 AL Cy Young Award voting. He also fanned 208 over 174 innings, while walking 39 and giving up just 129 hits. The current timetable would keep Sale away from baseball at least until March 21, with Spring Training ending on April 3 in Charlotte and Opening Day coming on April 6 in Kansas City.
"I came into this spring as ready as I've ever been. So, this is a minor setback. I'm not losing any faith," said Sale, using a single crutch to move over to meet the media. "I'm not going to get down on myself. I'm just rehabbing a foot. I'll be back before no time.
Rick Hahn wasn't ready to make any guesses as to the possibility of Sale's availability on Opening Day. Sale has made the last two season-opening starts for the White Sox.
"That may be tight, but let's see where we are March 21, if that truly is the first day that he's back out there," Hahn said. "Then we'll have access to how much arm strength he can build up prior to the opener.
"But we'll see. We're just speculating now in terms of the exact plan. The most important thing is that this should heal completely in three weeks and then we'll go from there."
Hahn mentioned Carlos Rodon, Brad Penny, Frank Montas, Chris Beck and Scott Carroll as possible candidates to pick up Cactus League innings in place of Sale. Manager Robin Ventura added that the rotation plan becomes a bit jumbled, but he'll have someone take Sale's Cactus League spot beginning with his first scheduled start Friday in Peoria against the Padres.
There's also a focus on not letting Sale push too fast and get back to the mound before he's absolutely ready, potentially leading to other issues while overcompensating for the foot.
"You want to make sure that he's not going out there … and especially with his delivery. He's all over the place," Ventura said. "He'll be throwing when he's capable and we feel comfortable he can do that. He's in good hands. He's with [White Sox athletic trainer] Herm [Schneider], so counting on that as a plus on our side."
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.