Orioles hope platelet rich plasma treatment will speed healing process
SEATTLE -- Orioles top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy saw renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews on Monday, and he received a platelet rich plasma (PRP) injection and was prescribed rest for six weeks.
Bundy, who has been diagnosed with what's being called right flexor mass tightness, hasn't throw off a regular mound since March, and he experienced some discomfort when trying to throw off flat ground recently at the team's spring complex. That prompted the 20-year-old Bundy to seek a second opinion with Andrews, who saw him after the pitcher was re-examined by team orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens.
"He was prescribed rest and rehab," executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said of Bundy, whose diagnoses from Andrews and Wilckens were consistent. "So, that's encouraging."
The Orioles remain optimistic regarding Bundy's injury, given that an MRI revealed his right elbow was structurally OK. The injection was in the flexor mass area, which is where the forearm meets the elbow, and is the same treatment that was used for Zach Britton's left shoulder impingement last spring.
"We look for it to resolve during that period [of six weeks]," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We're hoping were talking about June. I hope. We'll see. We are going to take the conservative approach and make sure we get it resolved. ... He'll have a good support staff down there with him. He just has to listen to what the doctors say he should be doing.
"Structurally, it was as positive news as you want to find."
So what is PRP? The procedure consists of putting the patient's blood through a special centrifuge to isolate platelets and growth factors, which are then injected back into the injured area to help spur healing. There aren't any side effects, meaning it won't make Bundy any worse, but there are various degrees of success with it and the timetable for recovery is incredibly varied.
Bundy will remain in Sarasota, Fla., while resting and allowing the PRP to take effect. The fourth overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Bundy is rated as the No. 2 prospect in baseball by MLB.com. In 2012, he went 9-3 with a 2.08 ERA in 23 combined starts between the Class A and Double-A levels before making his highly anticipated big league debut in September. He turned in two scoreless relief appearances in the final week of the regular season.