Bryan Hoch, MLB.com:
Following a tip from basketball star Kobe Bryant, Alex Rodriguez traveled to Germany this month for experimental treatments on his troublesome right knee and left shoulder, the Yankees confirmed on Wednesday.Andrew Keh, Times:
With the club's approval, the Yankees third baseman was seen by Dr. Peter Wehling for an Orthokine procedure during a Dec. 5-9 trip to Dusseldorf, general manager Brian Cashman said during a conference call with reporters. ...
Major League Baseball was also consulted to avoid the appearance that Rodriguez might be receiving impermissible treatment. ...
Orthokine involves taking blood from the patient's arm vein, incubating it at 37 degrees Celsius and then spinning it in a centrifuge to isolate protective proteins. That solution is then injected into the afflicted area once or twice a week; in this case, Rodriguez's knee and shoulder.
The treatment is similar to the platelet rich plasma, or PRP, therapy that has been used by athletes - including Rodriguez - to treat joint pain and muscle injuries. Orthokine is said to have an anti-inflammatory, pain-reducing and cartilage-protecting effects, though its long-term viability is unknown.
When Alex Rodriguez informed the Yankees last month that he was interested in traveling to Germany to pursue a fairly new medical procedure, they were understandably concerned.John Harper, Daily News:
Twice in recent years team officials had been caught off guard when they learned that players under contract had undergone medical treatment of which they were not aware.
One of those players was Rodriguez, who initially informed the Yankees in December 2009 that he had not been treated by Anthony Galea, a Toronto doctor who was under criminal investigation in the United States over suspicion that he had provided athletes with performance-enhancing drugs.
But it turned out that Galea had treated Rodriguez after his hip surgery in early 2009. ...
This has to be at least somewhat alarming to the Yankees, even if they were on board with Rodriguez's visit to Germany ... Indeed, it's not the procedure so much that's in question, even if it is not believed to be approved in the United States, so much as the neon-sign reminder of what the Yankees could be in for over the next six years.
In case you'd forgotten, A-Rod still has six years remaining on his contract, which means he'll turn 42 in July of the final year of his deal, 2017, at which point he'll still earn $20 million, down from the $31 million he made last year. ...
At least A-Rod shouldn't have to explain this one to the FBI ...
Even if he's going the extra 4,000 miles or so in search of the best possible treatment for his knee, the real issue is whether it will make a difference. Over the last four seasons, Rodriguez has had hip and knee surgery, as well as lesser injury issues with his shoulder, thumb, and quadriceps and groin muscles.
It seems unlikely that he can reverse that trend as he pushes toward 40. Perhaps more to the point, his trip to Germany indicates that A-Rod knows it.
In the fine Yankee tradition:
Not that there's anything wrong with that: