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Carlos Martínez receives some Platelet-Rich Plasma - A Hunt and Peck


MLB: St. Louis Cardinals-Media Day Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Last week we were given the news that Carlos Martínez had to take a break from his throwing program. It was a a bit of a blow, but one the Cardinals could absorb. It was really only supposed to set the starter back two weeks. In the meantime, the Cardinals turned to Miles Mikolas to fill in the role as the top starter, giving him the nod for Opening Day on Saturday. It was going to be fine. It was all going to be fine.

It all might still be fine, but it looks a little less fine-r. It started with this news:

Seeking a second opinion is not exactly what we would call “encouraging news”. It seemed to get even less encouraging with each tweet:

I guess this helps?

Finally some clarity of what exactly Carlos was doing:

Based on some very quick research, a Platelet-Rich Plasma injection (PRP) is a process that involves removal of a small amount of the patient’s own blood, which is then spun through a centrifuge - a thing that looks like a tiny merry-go-round inside a tiny upright clothes dryer. This process apparently stirs up the blood and concentrates the platelets. Those platelets are then injected back into the patient’s body near the site of the injury. Easy peasy.

According to what I have read, the process is somewhat popular among elite athletes. Does it work, though? I am not remotely close to being qualified to answer that, but I have asked around those that are. My preliminary research suggests that results are inconclusive at best. Some studies even suggest the treatment offers no significant benefit, at least in “tennis elbow”. I am sure there are some who swear by it and perhaps with more research we might find it does offer some benefits. What I do know for sure is Martínez will be out an additional week to recover from the procedure and, in my professional opinion, that really bites.

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