Britton gets PRP injection (w. postgame notes)
Orioles pitcher Zach Britton received two rounds of Platet Rich Plasma therapy on Wednesday, a new and increasingly popular procedure that he hopes will help heal the left shoulder inflammation that has plagued him since August.
Britton, who had the procedure recommended to him by Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla. on Wednesday morning, said he was told by Andrews to look at this as a “six-week or more process”, depending on how his body heals. He called the entire injury experience, “obviously frustrating” but the hope continues to be that the 24-year-old lefty, who had an MRI taken that shows no structural damage, will be able to avoid surgery and pitch healthy at some point this season.
“I have a follow up appointment with Dr Andrews and he will assess and see how things are,” Britton said. “So, nothing will happen overnight.”
The procedure, called PRP, consists of centrifuging the patient’s blood to isolate platelets and growth factors. The mix is then injected back into the injured area to accelerate healing, and help speed tissue growth. Britton said the procedure was recommended over a standard Cortisone injection because it’s a way for the body to heal itself. The concentrated growth factors have been shown to speed tissue growth and healing in several studies, although the results are still disputed. The procedure has been done by a few other notable athletes including Kobe Bryant and Tiger Woods.
While Britton was already a longshot for Opening Day, Wednesday’s news makes it a certainty he will not be ready to start the season. Britton mentioned the end of April as a potential target date, although he later admitted that his timetable is very much up in the air.
“I’m not going to rush back and have the same issue crop back up,” he said. “It’s just a process that I’ve got to take. I’m frustrated with it, but if it’s going to help me pitch and have a long career, that’s the most important thing. Not necessarily being ready to pitch in April.”
“It could go faster, it could go slower, you just don’t know. It’s truly unknown right now. You just have to see how my body reacts in a couple weeks.”
Britton won’t pick up a ball for at least 7-10 days, although it could be longer before he starts any kind of shoulder rehab program.
Here are a few postgame notes…
*Pitchers Willie Eyre, Miguel Socolovich, Jon Link and Oscar Villarreal were optioned to Minor League camp following Wednesday’s game. The moves brings the spring roster to 43, with 23 pitchers.
*The Orioles signed Josh Barfield to a Minor League deal on Wednesday, according to Baseball America. Barfield, 29, last appeared in the majors with the Indians in 2009 and is a second baseman.
*Ryan Flaherty made his spring debut at first base, entering the game in the top of the sixth inning. Flaherty, who is trying to make the team in a bench role, has played everywhere but catcher and centerfield this spring and looks to be a favorite to make the team among the group of “utility” players.