It's been 14 months into recovery from Tommy John surgery and Los Angeles Angels pitcher Ryan Madson has finally reached the point where he is willing to try anything to get back on the baseball diamond — even Human Growth Hormone.
"If HGH were legal, just in the process of healing, under a doctor's recommendation, in the right dosage, while you're on the (disabled list), I don't think that's such a bad idea," Madson told MLB.com.
"As long as it doesn't have any lasting side effects, negative side effects."
The FDA has approved the use of Human Growth Hormone under certain medical conditions, but it is currently on MLB's list of banned substances.
After exhausting all legal medical options, Madson now believes that sports-related injuries should also be included in the short list of HGH-allowed therapies.
"Even if I get healthy without that," Madson said, "it should be legal, in the right dosage, under supervision, with doctors, for the only purposes to help heal and get players back in the Major Leagues."
But while MLB and all other pro sport leagues catagorize all PEDs in the same category, Madson insists he would never take his rehab therapy beyond HGH.
"Not steroids," he said. "Not steroids. No."
Madson, who signed with the Angels this year after blowing out his right elbow in spring training with the Reds last season, added that he'd only use HGH if given an okay by the medical community.
"If a doctor would say, 'No, this wouldn't help the situation,' I wouldn't take it," he said.
One such doctor would be MLB medical director Dr. Gary Green.
"There are no studies — zero studies — showing any benefit from using growth hormone by itself to aid in recovery or post-surgical or post-injury type thing," Green told MLB.com.
"I've taken care of a lot of athletes, and I understand that they're frustrated and they want to get back to play. That's why we have the field of sports medicine."
That's of little consolation to Madson, who at age 32 is facing the autumn of his baseball career.
"I have a lot left — my body, my age, mentality," he said. "And I just can't get there."