Found December 18, 2012 on
At Friday night’s general Question and Answer session for season-ticket holders at Pirate Fest, one gentleman asked about the status of Josh Bell’s recovery from his knee problems. GM Neal Huntington talked about how his knee did not respond to the original procedure, so they took a step back and re-evaluated things. He then added “the knee responded well to the PRP injection he recently had.”
Probably 1.5% of the audience knew what a PRP injection was and nodded approvingly. The other 98.5%, including this writer, nodded approvingly and wondered what exactly a PRP injection was.
PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma. The procedure involves extracting platelets from the patient’s own blood via a vein. This blood is taken out and put in a centrifuge in order to concentrate the platelets for extraction and separate them from other factions of blood cells. Platelets help to stimulate a healing response in normal blood; by injecting concentrated amount of platelets it can help accelerate the healing process, especially for chronic or slow-healing injuries in tissue and even bone.
Josh Bell originally tore his meniscus early in the 2012 season and was expected back in August. However, his knee experienced repeated swelling and he ended up missing the remainder of the season and the fall instructional league. PRP injections are commonly used for all forms of tendonitis, both in knees and elbows, to reduce inflammation. Huntington did not specify when the PRP injection was given, but it sounded relatively recent from his answer to the question.
The procedure itself appears to be low-impact to the patient. Blood is withdrawn from the patient and spun in the centrifuge for 30 minutes, and then re-injected into the appropriate area. For the non-squeamish among you, here is a Youtube link showing the procedure being done on a patient for tendonitis in the elbow. This is a general video and not, presumably, the same doctor who performed the PRP injection for Bell.
In terms of the sports medicine world, PRP injections are still in the nascent stage. A 2009 pilot study was published in the medical journal Injury by Doctors Kon, Filardo, and Delcogliano on their work with 20 athletes experiencing patellar tendonitis and swelling. Six months after the PRP injection, 6 showed complete recovery, 8 showed marked improvement, 2 showed mild recovery, and 4 had no improvement. This group of doctors made the conclusion that their results, albeit a small sample, were encouraging for short-term relief of tendonitis and swelling.
All parties involved in the situation with Bell expect him to be ready for Spring Training and for an Opening Day assignment to full-season ball. If his knee is still not ready by March/April, then it will be time to start worrying about his long-term health.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Danny Knobler of CBS Sports has the latest on Joel Hanrahan.
People who have talked to the Pirates say they’re pushing to move Hanrahan. Dodgers are one possibility.
— DKnobler (@DKnobler) December 17, 2012
We’ve heard that the Pirates are shopping Hanrahan, which isn’t new. We’ve also heard Neal Huntington say that he’d be fine keeping Hanrahan and Jason Grilli in...
In Dominican League action from last night, Kris Johnson threw six shutout innings, allowing just one base hit, a third inning single with two outs. He also walked two and struck out three batters. Johnson has pitched brilliantly this DWL season, giving up just one earned run over 19.2 innings pitched. He has allowed only eight base hits, giving him a .127 BAA.
Alex Valdez went...
The Pittsburgh Pirates are “pushing to move” right-handed
closer Joel Hanrahan, according to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.
People who have talked to the Pirates say they're pushing to move Hanrahan. Dodgers are one possibility.
— DKnobler (@DKnobler) December 17, 2012
Hanrahan has been closing games for the Pirates over the
past two-plus seasons, and the...
Now that the 2013 Prospect Guide is complete, I’m starting my focus on the site content in 2013. For information on the book, see the links and notes section below.
I’m anticipating some big improvements for the site in 2013. One big change is that I’ll be moving to Bradenton in February. That will allow me to provide daily coverage of Spring Training, the Bradenton Marauders...
Clint Barmes is a strong defensive shortstop, but he struggled offensively batting .229 with eight home runs and 45 RBI in 2012. Barmes told PiratesDugout.com's George Von Benko that he is hoping for better offensive production this season.
Here are the latest Joel Hanrahan rumors:
**Earlier today Rob Biertempfel reported that the Pirates are interested in Rick Porcello, but that the Detroit Tigers won’t deal him straight up for Hanrahan.
**Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Dodgers and Red Sox are showing interest in Hanrahan. Heyman notes that the Dodgers have starting pitching in Chris Capuano and Aaron...
In Winter League action in the Dominican from last night, Anderson Hernandez went 1-for-5, with a single and an RBI. He remains atop the DWL leaderboard with 53 hits, two ahead of former Pirates catcher Robinzon Diaz, who sits in second place.
Alex Valdez went 1-for-4, with a run scored. His .864 OPS ranks him fifth among qualified batters in the DWL.
Felix Pie went 2-for-4, with...
For some reason the discussion of military training and the Pittsburgh Pirates is still going on. Back in September, Bob Nutting addressed the media and commented on the topic, with the original comments seen here. A big focus was placed on this quotes:
“We should not be, will not be, are not a military organization.”
That’s led to a lot of people saying that Nutting ordered...
Joel Hanrahan is becoming a hot commodity, the Yankees are shopping for bats, and Bobby Abreu is hoping for a return to the majors.