Interim manager Ron Roenicke updated Sale's status Thursday morning, telling reporters that an MRI showed no notable damage to the left-hander's elbow.
Sale underwent the MRI on Tuesday, and the results were examined by Red Sox doctors along with renowned surgeons Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Neal ElAttrache.
Roenicke said that neither Andrews nor ElAttrache recommended surgery for Sale's elbow.
"Doctors have advised him to wait another week before he starts throwing again," Roenicke said. "He'll start playing catch again. If everything is good, we'll progress."
Sale told reporters of his situation, "It sucks."
"Tough spot, for myself, this team and the organization going forward. ... There's optimism to be had, and I'm thankful for that. But I know the situation we're in right now, and it's not fun. I know there's an expectation level that not only our fans, my team, you guys, myself hold me to. I haven't met that. I haven't," he said.
"This is about as tough of a situation as I've ever been in. I was able to get through most of my career doing what I love to do and helping my team win, and for sure, over the last year and up to this point, I've done nothing but fall flat on my face."
Sale acknowledged he has "an uphill battle to climb. But I've got my climbing shoes on, so I'll be ready to roll -- whatever way we gotta go."
Sale last faced hitters on Aug. 13, giving up five runs with 12 strikeouts over 6⅔ innings in a win at Cleveland. He was put on the injured list and shut down with elbow inflammation, ending his worst season at 6-11 with a 4.40 ERA in 25 starts.
The Red Sox already had said that Sale, 30, will start this season on the injured list after he reported to camp with pneumonia.
Last March, the Red Sox signed Sale to a five-year, $145 million contract extension. The new deal starts this season and runs through the 2024 season. Sale will earn $30 million per year from 2020 to 2022 and $27.5 million in '23 and '24.