A-Rod undergoes experimental knee procedure

Open Thread: Ed Whitson
Yankees sign Hideki Okajima to a minor league deal

One of the keys for the 2012 Yankees is getting a healthy Alex Rodriguez. It’s unrealistic to expect him to play 150 games, since he hasn’t done that in the last four seasons. But getting to 135 games seems like a reasonable goal, and it will help the Yankees immensely. Rodriguez has taken a big step in that direction already this winter. According to a report in The New York Post, he underwent “experimental therapy called Orkine” on the right knee that caused him to miss 38 games in July and August.

While the Post termed Orkine experimental, it’s something that’s really been around for a while. It’s a platelet-rich plasma therapy, something we’ve seen other athletes undergo in the recent past. Takashi Saito made headlines in 2008 when he had the procedure in lieu of Tommy John surgery. Yankees fans will remember when Xavier Nady tried it in 2009, only to eventually require TJS. Several athletes have used platelet-rich plasma for knee and ankle injuries. Notables include Troy Polamalu, Tiger Woods, and Kobe Bryant. Rodriguez actually underwent the procedure on the advice of Bryant — whom is reportedly “looks pretty damn spry,” according to at least one NBA fan.

The Post got an excellent quote from Dr. Jonathan Glashow, who is the co-chief of sports medicine at Mout Sinai Hospital.

A lot of athletes I’ve talked to really think this stuff works, but we really don’t have a lot of scientific knowledge behind it of exactly what’s happening. It’s a great way to reduce inflammation and therefore pain, and that’s the essence of it. I think a lot of the athletes who have wear-and-tear on their knees benefit from this. You do it for a while and if it doesn’t stay good you do it again in a few years.

Even more encouragingly, it doesn’t appear that A-Rod will spend much time on the sidelines following the procedure. He underwent it within the last month, and recovery time isn’t very long. Bryant played in a game mere weeks after the procedure. Rodriguez still has a month and a half before he even reports to spring training. That should give him time to get in condition for the season.

Lest anyone think this is repeat of the Gallea or even the Bartolo Colon situation, Alex did get the Yankees’ blessing before getting the plasma injection. The Yankees also cleared it with the commissioner’s office, so there will be no surprise investigations popping up.

Open Thread: Ed Whitson
Yankees sign Hideki Okajima to a minor league deal
  • Rich in NJ

    My only concern is that the knee hasn’t healed more quickly through standard treatment.

    • Dan

      Right, but the standard treatment for most knee injuries involves some type of surgery, even minor surgery is going to be harder to recover from than getting platelet therapy.

      • Rich in NJ

        I thought he had surgery in the summer?

  • Steve (different one)

    I heard he actually had Centaur platelets injected.

    • Mike Myers

      My buddy made a poster of the arod/centaur. so awesome.

  • MannyGeee

    What he neglected to mention is that he was playing a high stakes hand of poker while hanging out with masculine strippers during the experimental treatment.

  • http://yankeeanalysts.com Matt Imbrogno

    The Yankees also cleared it with the commissioner’s office, so there will be no surprise investigations popping up.

    David Ortiz is still uneasy with this; he’s adding this to his search for the real killer.

    • MannyGeee

      this is gonna be a fun thread

  • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

    I guess it’s obvious we need Carlos Beltran to play third more than ever, despite him needing an actual new lower half of his body.

    I’d joke about Alex’s treatment, but can’t really think of any jokes here which don’t end in “penis.”

  • Mike Myers

    I heard its a cover: Rumor is they stuffed Giambis golden thong into his knee for good luck.

    • JohnC

      Couldn’t have. Rumor is you already ate that

  • http://Twitter.com/Jmarlowescully Scully

    When i read the post title i immediately thought “Kobe called him” without even reading further that kobe did call him. Hey if this a legal therapy (it sounds like a different kind of human growth stimulation) and arod goes back to his mashing ways I’m all for it.

    Can we also hypnotize Mark Teixeira into going the other way as a LHB while we at it please :D

  • El Cuñado

    Tobie Maguire, Leo DiCaprio, Ben Afflec and Matt Damon are all there shirtless, feeding a-rod grapes as he recovers

  • CJ

    Does anyone know the insurance coverage on ARod? What injuries, time missed and percentage of salary dies policy cover?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Apparently insurance is so expensive that teams doing even bother to get it most of the time. They cover “total loss or death” and that’s pretty much it.

      • Chris in Maine

        Thats what it evolved to. Insurance companies were add exclusions to the contracts if the applicant had any sort of injury history. For example back in the day, when Juan Gonzalez was a free agent, folks had injury concerns regarding his back. His agent to countere that argument applied and obtained DI insurance on Juan. Of course the contract had a back exclusion due to Juan’s balky back. Now one of the more popular contracts in terms of insurance is the “Team Stop Loss” contract.

        • Plank

          What is the “Team Stop Loss” Contract?

          How much do injury contracts cost, typically?

  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    I hope this experimental procedure works for Arod. With the use of platelets you would expect better results in muscle tissue which is well vascularized (more blood flow) versus say cartilage, tendon or ligament which are not. However if Bryant had a similar injury and was helped by this, then it may help Arod as well.

  • JonS

    i dont understand why he didnt do the stem cell thing bartolo did as well as the blood thing. The stem cell thing isn’t illegal so why not add to make sure he is completely healthy?

    • Guest

      Maybe he hasn’t gotten the same level of assurance that the league is OK with the procedure?

      I think by this point Alex is tired of having to deal with investigations and rumor an innuendo. He may only want to do those procedures where the league office states, on the record, that they are OK with it before he goes through with it.

    • Steve (different one)

      Is the “stem cell thing” allowed by MLB? I was under the impression that it was not.

      • Plank

        I was under the impression that the league couldn’t dictate what kind of procedure the players get. I thought the only time they could intervene is if PEDs are involved.

        • raisin

          the optimum treatment a’la Colon activates the stem cells with HGR, that’s a no-no according to mlb…

    • Dale Mohorcic

      Do the blood thing.

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    We know that he’s breaking down. All the medical procedures can not put him back together as before. Those long term contracts will come back to bite us in the rear end of the contract. But Arod will put forth the effort to be his best IMHO. Hopefully we can get 135-140 games per year out of him.

    • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

      You reminded me of Steve Austin, the $6 million man. We can rebuild him…better, stronger, faster.

      Except that we have A-Rod, the $300 million man, whom we cannot rebuild better, stronger, or faster.

      I think he should just bite the bullet and roid/hgh up at this point. Take the risk that the random testing will miss him. Worst case he gets a 50 game suspension, about as many games he’s likely to miss with injuries anyway. He can use the time to really rest and heal ;)

      • Plank

        A 50 game suspension means losing $10MM in salary.

        • Dale Mohorcic

          All the more reason for us to want him to do it.

          • Plank

            I would never wish any employee to make less than the contract they signed. I’ve been on the bad end of not getting paid when you should. It doesn’t feel good.

    • MannyGeee

      doom and gloom… DOOM AND GLOOOM!!!

  • Monteroisdinero

    Hurry up ARod. You are supposed to meet Jesus in Miami where he is looking forward to increasing your bat speed and opposite field power. Both need improvement.

  • MannyGeee

    damn. wrong asian pitcher.

  • Don W

    A-Rod spotted working out at a gym in my town of Boise yesterday. Apparently he spent the holidays with his Torrie Wilson and her family.


    • Plank

      Arod is the perfect wingman since he would pick up the tab, attract the girls, and go for the DUFFs.

  • YanksFan

    Are we sure that when they say commissioners office that they don’t mean the janitor picked up the phone at 10 pm and said it was cool?

    Nothing to see here. What concerns me is what Rich said above. He had the surgery and if he needs this procedure that means the surgery/rehab was not 100% effective.

    I hope it’s just mental and he is ready for the season.

  • Chad Gaudin the Friendly Ghost

    A-Rod and Kobe are friends? LOL…

  • RetroRob

    Origami? A-Rod had origami done on his knee? They FOLDED his f-ing knee???!!!!!

    What? Oh, oh, okay, it was Orkine not Origami.

    Seriously, who knows if this stuff works. My guess is there might be something to it, and I think there’s some limited evidence it does, but just not enough to make a determination. If nothing else, if A-Rod thinks it will help him, and he feels healthier and more confident because of the procedure, then it’s worth a try. This is not a proceduce that will be covered by the Yankees or any medical insurance, so it’s A-Rod putting his own money out there.

    People who are dead sure that PEDs make baseball players better used to ask the question “if it doesn’t make them better, why would players take PEDs?” They took them becasue they believed it helped them. Players also take tons of vitamin supplements, even though the evidence is quite clear they do little beyond a certain point. Andy Pettitte said he took HGH to help him heal faster, even though the medical evidence on HGH is quite clear that it doesn’t help athletes heal faster. Yet belief is a powerful drug. If A-Rod thinks this procedue will make his knee stronger, then maybe it will.

    • knucklehead

      yes barry got 70+ homeruns cuz of a simple placebo effect