Injured Orioles catcher Matt Wieters had a platelet-rich plasma injection in his strained right elbow last Monday in hopes of accelerating his recovery.
“Thought it could only help speed up the healing,” said Wieters, who is not scheduled for any more PRP injections at this time.
Wieters, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since May 11, has no set timetable for his return.
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Because the discomfort only occurs when he throws, the plan was for Wieters to rest the elbow for at least two weeks before attempting to throw again. He has not caught a game since May 4, but he served as the club’s designated hitter four times before going on the DL.
The PRP treatment, which has become fairly routine for players who are rehabbing from an injury, injects a portion of a patient’s blood back into the affected area in the hope that it will more quickly heal injured tendons, ligaments and muscles. Having a PRP injection doesn’t indicate that an injury is more severe than initially thought, but it usually does mean a week or so of rest is required after the procedure.
“He is just about recovered from his shot,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “When that goes away, then we start getting a feel with what’s going on with the actual area that we are concerned with.”
Wieters, who turns 28 on Wednesday, is eligible to come off the DL on May 26 in Milwaukee, but that doesn’t seem like it will happen. In fact, it always seemed to be a long shot considering that Wieters wasn’t expected to attempt to throw for at least two weeks after he was placed on the DL.
Showalter has said in the past that the Orioles would like to know by July 1 whether Wieters can return behind the plate this season. If he can’t, then he could potentially have surgery and be ready to return in time for Opening Day next season after a normal nine-month rehab period.
Wieters, who was hitting .308 with five home runs in 104 at-bats, has caught side sessions this week, but he does not throw the ball back to the pitcher.
Steve Clevenger and Caleb Joseph have shared catching duties with Wieters out.
Showalter also said that Rule 5 infielder Michael Almanzar had a second PRP injection in his right knee Thursday. There is no timetable for his return. First baseman Chris Davis had PRP injections in his left side in April, and he believes it helped him return from his left oblique injury when he was first eligible.