Rockies closer to try platelet-rich plasma treatment in lieu of Tommy John surgery
DENVER -- The sobering news came at the end of Rockies manager Walt Weiss' postgame press conference Monday, the excitement of a 6-1 victory over the Giants washed away when the manager revealed closer Rafael Betancourt has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right arm.
"We're weighing the options and he'll decide the course of action," said Weiss, who consoled his closer in the clubhouse.
Betancourt had an MRI taken earlier Monday and many expected the worst -- a tear in the 38-year-old's pitching elbow. Betancourt said he will try platelet-rich plasma treatment in a last-hope attempt to avoid surgery, but the chances of that working are not high.
"If that doesn't work, then trying to get back is not going to work," Betancourt said after Monday's game. "But I'm going to try to do my best and try to come back and pitch again."
Betancourt said he should have a better idea of whether the PRP treatment will work in two or three weeks, and he does not plan to undergo surgery if it doesn't work. Even if successful, the Rockies closer will miss the rest of this season and, at best, would try to make it back by next season's Spring Training.
"I really want to give everything I have right now to it," Betancourt said.
If that treatment doesn't work, Betancourt's career is likely over since he does not plan to pursue Tommy John surgery, which would sideline him for a full season.
Betancourt, in his 13th season in the Majors, left Thursday's game against the Phillies with crippling pain and expected it to be a serious injury. He blew his second consecutive game Thursday after converting 15 of his first 16 save opportunities.
He just returned from an appendectomy that kept him out for more than a month Aug. 17 and appeared in just four more games.