Nady told The Journal News today that he is having platelet-rich plasma injected directly into the area around the partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The procedure was successfully used by right-handed reliever Takashi Saito last season. Saito, who is now with the Red Sox, was able to avoid Tommy John Surgery. Like Nady, he had a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament.
Blood drawn from Nady’s body is spun to isolate the platelets, which clot and promote healing of the ligament. The platelets are 10 times more concentrated than normal blood. It is believed Saito and Nady are the only baseball players to have had this procedure done. Hines Ward of the Steelers is another athlete who has had success with the procedure.
Nady, who had Tommy John Surgery in 2001, is hopeful that the procedure will work. He has been injected with the platelets twice.
“It hurts because the needle they use is designed to go right into the ligament. It’s a painful procedure,” he said. “But it’ll be worth it if I can get back sooner.”
Nady said he is hopeful of returning to the team sometime late this month or in early June as a designated hitter and then to get back in the outfield. Surgery would have kept him out for at least a year. The 30-year-old outfielder will be a free agent at the end of the season.
Nady injured his elbow on April 14.
“If Saito was able to come back as a pitcher, that is a good sign for me,” Nady said. “It hurts at the spot of the injection. But I think overall the elbow is feeling better.”
Nady hit .305 with 25 homers and 97 RBI last season. He was hitting .286 through seven games for the Yankees this season.