Boston Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale will undergo Tommy John surgery, Chaim Bloom, the team’s chief baseball officer, announced Thursday.

Sale chose to undergo the procedure now out of fear that delaying it could have caused him to miss significant time in the 2021 season, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Recovery from ulnar collateral ligament repairs in the elbow typically takes 12-14 months, putting Sale on pace to return early in 2021. While the coronavirus pandemic-induced delay to the start of the Major League Baseball season was not a direct cause of Sale deciding to undergo the surgery, sources said, the possibility of a significant number of games missed reinforced the decision.