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Chris Sale says it's possible he had coronavirus in spring training, wants to get tested

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Chris Sale’s health has been the story of the non-season so far for the Boston Red Sox after the ace underwent Tommy John surgery last month, but there could be another twist coming.

[ Coronavirus: How the sports world is responding to the pandemic ]

While discussing his surgery with reporters on Tuesday, Sale wondered aloud if the pneumonia that delayed the beginning of his spring training in February was actually an early case of the coronavirus.

Apparently, his symptoms at the time line up with that of COVID-19. Now, Sale wants to get tested to see if he has the antibodies that result from the illness.

Sale added that a flu test came back negative at the time.

If true, that’s obviously big news in the baseball world and would make Sale the first known MLB player to contract the coronavirus, named or unnamed.

FT. MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 20: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox pitches during a team workout on February 20, 2020 at jetBlue Park at Fenway South in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
Chris Sale says his past symptoms lined up with COVID-19, but it seems unlikely he had the virus. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

However, there are a few reasons to think it’s unlikely Sale was actually dealing with the virus that has shut down much of American life. For starters, it was first reported that Sale was dealing with pneumonia on Feb. 12, when the CDC’s national tally of coronavirus cases was still in the single digits.

Sale also noted that it appears no one near him has contracted COVID-19, which seems highly unlikely if he really had the highly contagious virus.

From NBC Sports Boston:

"As contagious as this virus is, I think that if I had it, somebody in my family and a lot of people at the park would have been infected by it," he said. "I don't want to make light of it and joke about having something like that, but it definitely crossed my mind and I asked people about it.”

The Red Sox are one of the few MLB teams to have a member of their organization test positive for the coronavirus. An unnamed minor leaguer was reported to have the coronavirus on March 24, though he had reportedly left the team’s Fort Meyers complex on March 15.

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