CJ could become a stem-cell innovator, but we’ll all still blame him for being all the Tigers could get for David Wells!
Certainly I hope this procedure gives me the results I’m looking for and a chance to do what I love again. But bigger than that is the future of stem cells in sports medicine. I’m fascinated when I think about what’s going on in my shoulder right now.
I asked Jeremy if he thought this therapy could be used proactively. After a few years of professional baseball, all pitchers have tears in their arm to some degree. When I had my first MRI, Dr. James Andrews told me I had a rotator cuff and a labrum tear, but that the labrum tear had been there for years. I was amazed by this; I’d been pitching full speed for years with a torn labrum.
I wondered if after a long baseball season, stem cell and PRP therapies could be given to seemingly healthy pitchers to strengthen weakened and slightly torn ligaments and tendons. My thought was that they would decrease the chances of a pitcher getting seriously hurt. Jeremy said, “You know, that’s a pretty good idea.”
We’ll see, it’ll be pretty difficult to convince a healthy pitcher to intentionally inflame his arm and make it hurt temporarily because he’ll be better off in the long term. In one form or another though you have to believe stem cell and PRP therapy is about to go mainstream in sports. It will take some more research and open mindedness on the part of those who make decisions, most notably league commissioners and team doctors. It will also take time, but progress always does.
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