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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

New procedure could hasten Nady’s return

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on May 03, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Yankees outfielder Xavier Nady is attempting a cutting-edge medical procedure that could help him return to the team far earlier than expected.

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.





50 Responses to “New procedure could hasten Nady’s return”

  1. Aunt Becca-Optimist Prime May 3rd, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    We could really use Nady in terms of depth.

    Here’s hoping it does, in fact, speed his recovery!

  2. Kevin S. May 3rd, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    Here’s to hoping he recovers as soon as he can, for his sake first, but also because his return allows the Yanks to give Damon, Matsui, etc. a blow without playing both of their 4th outfielders at the same time.

  3. jennifer May 3rd, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    Wow interesting. Hopefully it works and we see him back soon.

  4. Rob Thompson May 3rd, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Any word on when he’ll be available, Pete? Sounds like an exciting procedure.

  5. Doreen May 3rd, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Very cool. Hope it works out for him. Great picture of Nady smiling there.

  6. Richie May 3rd, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Rob Thompson

    Pete’s blog entry says late May or early June.

  7. m May 3rd, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Any indication whose injury was worse? Nady was basically told to stop throwing, while Saito pitched through his injury. Albeit not very successfully.

  8. Richie May 3rd, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Pettitte has pitched with a gap in the ligament of his left elbow for over 10 years. I wonder if he would ever consider this procedure.

  9. Nick in SF May 3rd, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    I just got a hint at another exciting procedure. For a second the gameday update said “Hunter Jones replaces Hunter Jones.”

    If we can get a hold of that same technology, the solution to the Joba debate will follow.

  10. UKYankee May 3rd, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    The procedure was used early last year by a Doctor Wolfarth I think, in Munich. To promote the repair of the hamstring tendon in a famous soccer player…Frank Ribery. Not been injured since….so fingers crossed for X

  11. UKYankee May 3rd, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    think his name is actually Franck!

  12. Paddy R May 3rd, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    wait, did X have this already, or is he going to have it soon, or is it a continuing thing? from X’s quotes it sounded like he’s had it. from pete’s introduction it sounded like he hadn’t had it yet. and they both would satisfy if it is a contiuing/multiple treatment thing. anyone have a beat on this?

  13. jennifer May 3rd, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Richie- I don’t think he would play with it at this point. If he has been pitching though it why do anything?

  14. Peter Abraham May 3rd, 2009 at 4:17 pm


    Read the entry. I wrote that he has had two injections. It’s a process that will be determined as he moves along and whether it works.

  15. S.A.--It's a marathon, not a sprint. Calm down. May 3rd, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Hope it works. Good luck Nady

  16. Richie May 3rd, 2009 at 4:21 pm


    You’re probably right, but in his first season back with the Yankees, he mentioned that he would pitch another season (last year), if his elbow continued to feel good, and now, after saying this season would be his last, he has said that he may want to pitch next year as well.

    This procedure is groundbreaking, and could enable him to pitch longer, without worrying about his elbow, and maybe even up his velocity.

    So it may be something for him to consider.

  17. Eric B. May 3rd, 2009 at 4:22 pm


    We could use his RH bat tomorrow against Lester

  18. matt May 3rd, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    doesn’t this = blood doping?

  19. UKYankee May 3rd, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    injected every 3 days or so for about 4 weeks…usually alongside weekly MRI’s to monitor healing and usual rehab exercises to aid flexibility and miosin regrowth

  20. jennifer May 3rd, 2009 at 4:26 pm


    What is Blood Doping?

    Blood doping, often called induced erythrocythemia, is the intravenous infusion of blood to produce an increase in the blood’s oxygen carrying capacity (#10). It is a procedure that begins with between 1 to 4 units of a person’s blood (1 unit = 450 ml of blood) being withdrawn, usually several weeks before a key competition. The blood is then centrifuged and the plasma components are immediately reinfused while the remaining red blood cells are placed in cold storage (#7). The RBC’s are then reinfused back into the body, usually 1 to 7 days before a high endurance event. If done correctly, this process can increase the hemoglobin level and RBC count by up to 20%.

  21. UKYankee May 3rd, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    and here come the Sox

  22. RJPinstripes May 3rd, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Good for the X-Man. GOFERIT and I sure hope it works for him!

  23. Zach in Port Jeff May 3rd, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Nady is a platelet-rich plasma using cheat!

  24. gayle May 3rd, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Nice reporting. very interesting to see how he responds to this treatment.

  25. 86w183 May 3rd, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    A bottle of Jack Daniels is another form of blood doping.

    All this medical stuff is pretty amazing and it’s the medical equivalent of PEDs. Some artificial substances are good, some are bad. Some blood manipulation processes are okay, others not so much.

    Just make everything legal and move on… all rules do is give people incentive and opportunities to break them.

    It’s true about NCAA rules, drug laws etc… people have always been willing to break the rules (laws) when they think it’s worth it to do so. That will never change.

    Nor will the fact that HGH is being used in virtually every professional sport. Maybe not ice skating, but that’s not a sport anyway.

  26. UKYankee May 3rd, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    “Blood Doping” is widely regarded as an endurance sport performance enhancer. A famous case in the 76 Olympics, a Finnish guy “Lassi Viren” was caught blood doping after winning 5000m and 10000m Pentathlon.
    Its not regarded as an aid to recovery

  27. UKYankee May 3rd, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    this is obviously “Performance Enhancing”.
    I’m sure that it’ll be added to the IOC banned list within the next 10yrs….but it’ll never be labelled as a Steroid.
    Carl Lewis was taking Ephidrine during his 4 gold medal winning 94 Olympics….but it wasn’t on the banned list, therefore he is one of the greatest athletes the world has ever known.

  28. Paddy R May 3rd, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    my bad pete, didn’t see that line that he had been injected twice. excited about the thought of us getting this bat back. best of luck to X, seems like a good dude.

    at the same time, any impact he has will probably just be a bonus. if teixeira and alex are hitting and the bullpen goes back to being league average, this team is going to be in good shape. if not, probably not a ton X can do about it. still huge to have the depth, especially vs. LHP.

  29. Bo knows May 3rd, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    “Maybe not ice skating, but that’s not a sport anyway”

    As compared to Golf and Speedway. Now there speaks a true voice of ignorance.

  30. GreenBeret7 May 3rd, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Bo knows
    May 3rd, 2009 at 4:41 pm
    “Maybe not ice skating, but that’s not a sport anyway”

    As compared to Golf and Speedway. Now there speaks a true voice of ignorance.


    Trying to just stand up on two knife blades is tough….then try to move so your azs isn’t dragging the ground. Forget juping and dancing on them. My first wife was an ice skater. Great legs and ankles.

  31. GreenBeret7 May 3rd, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Forget ***jumping*** and dancing

  32. sphinxa May 3rd, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    PRP is a procedure that was also used to help heal Hines Ward just before the Super Bowl. An even more exciting process that is on the horizon will be to use adult stem cells extracted from a small sample of a patients fat cells to help stimulate quicker healing.

  33. cano he didnt May 3rd, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    wow anyone watching the rays game? imagine if ellsbury got on base and scored or homered on hit hit, how bad do you think the fan that robbed longoria of catching the foul ball would get it lol if theyre youre team you get out of the way for an out!

  34. cano he didnt May 3rd, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    *homered on HIS hit*

  35. cano he didnt May 3rd, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    whoops, just found out how to do bold i guess haha

  36. Louis S May 3rd, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Alright Nady, here is hoping that you come back and hit the tar off the ball.

  37. Manton May 3rd, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    X wanted something in his veins
    Bloodier than blood

    Hope there are some Wilco fans in the audience….

  38. timo May 3rd, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    May 3rd, 2009 at 4:33 pm
    “Blood Doping” is widely regarded as an endurance sport performance enhancer. A famous case in the 76 Olympics, a Finnish guy “Lassi Viren” was caught blood doping after winning 5000m and 10000m Pentathlon.
    Its not regarded as an aid to recovery”
    There were rumors about Viren but he was never “caught”. There was no test for blood doping in the 70′s and is still difficult to detect, as long as you use your own blood (a long term process). Tyler Hamilton was caught because he took the “quick and dirty” method of using someone else’s RBC’s.

    And “pentathlon” has nothing to do with Viren’s events, not sure where that came from.

  39. 86w183 May 3rd, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    Bo Knows — Ice Skaters ARE athletes… Ice skating is a beautiful, physically challenge and demanding art form, but it’s not sport. Sport is competition and I don’t consider anything where judges choose the winner to be a sport… boxing ceases to be a sport when three od guys sitting ringside decide which athlete won.

    It has nothing to do with ignorance it has to do with what I consider a sport. I freely acknowledge that many disagree on this and that’s fine.

    Not all athletes compete in sports any more than all sports involve athletes. Ice skaters are definitely athletes. Race car drivers are not. Ice skating for judges is not a sport, but speed skating is. Auto racing is a sport, but it doesn’t involve athletes.

    Competitive eating is neither.

    Just my attitude, dissent is always welcome, but the insult was uncalled for.

  40. sphinxa May 3rd, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    This procedure isn’t blood doping. Blood is separated and the healing cells, which are what is called “PRP” are put into the injured area to help speed repair. There isn’t oxygen or other performance enhancers put in, except if your definition of enhancers includes faster and better healing of injured tissue.

  41. Steve in MN May 3rd, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    “There isn’t oxygen or other performance enhancers put in, except if your definition of enhancers includes faster and better healing of injured tissue.”

    Actually a lot of blood doping involves taking the same athletes blood after they’ve been training at altitude, and therefore can carry more oxygen, then re-inject it at a later date. Nothing is added to or taken away from the blood.

  42. Amol May 3rd, 2009 at 6:26 pm


    To be fair, neither oxygen nor performance enhancers are added in blood doping either. Blood doping (which is usually seen in cycling) is similar to this procedure, except that its the red blood cells which are injected into the body rather than platelets. The PRBCs increase the body’s oxygen capacity, but nothing is actually added to them.

  43. Michael May 3rd, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Need to trade him for a solid bullpen arm.

  44. Vince May 3rd, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Good for Nady but yet another reason why Veras should be DFA’d and his roster spot taken by John Rodriquez.

  45. sphinxa May 3rd, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Blood doping is banned because it puts an unnatural amount of red blood cells back in the body, allowing more oxygen which leads to better endurance. PRP is just for healing.

  46. GZA May 3rd, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Great news. Hopefully the procedure works to perfection.

    What will we be doing with Nady once he gets back, though? He seems too valuable to sit on the bench. Will we trade him? Preferably for a reliever or two?

  47. Chris in Delaware May 4th, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Anecdotally, I can tell you that my father-in-law had this procedure on his right knee more than a year ago and has been playing 18 holes daily since then without pain. He was club champ at Winged Foot 7x from the ’80s-’90s, just to give you an idea of his intensity out there.

    I think Nady will respond well, this is ground-breaking medical technology.

  48. Jay May 4th, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    The irony here is that steroids would probably be more effective in healing him quicker :P

  49. baseball fan! May 5th, 2009 at 10:53 am

    PRP sounds amazing and is not considerded “doping”, evidently the NFL has approved it

  50. buy_vigrxplus July 14th, 2009 at 8:46 am

    Great post! I’ll subscribe right now wth my feedreader software!

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