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UPDATE: Alex Rodriguez went to Germany for some experimental treatment on his knee AND his shoulder

Dec 28, 2011, 2:20 PM EDT

alex rodriguez getty Getty Images

UPDATE: A few minutes ago Brian Cashman said that it wasn’t just A-Rod’s knee that got the German engineering treatment. It was his left shoulder too.  Here’s a full report on it all.

So, to sum up: the guy who is still owed $143 million over six years to play third base for the Yankees is basically fallin’ apart. So that’s nice.

9:43 AMThe New York Post reports what the above headline says: Alex Rodriguez — on the recommendation of Kobe Bryant of all people — recently traveled to Germany for experimental therapy on his troublesome knee.  The treatment, called Orthokine, proceeds thusly:

Orthokine involves taking blood from the patient’s arm and spinning it in a centrifuge, a machine used in laboratories to spin objects around a fixed axis. The serum is then injected into the affected area — in this case, Rodriguez’s knee.

No one knows if it works or anything, but that hasn’t stopped athletes before.  The key takeaway here is that Rodriguez actually cleared this with Major League Baseball and the Yankees, thereby heading off the kind of criticism Bartolo Colon got for his blood-spinning therapy last year.

Of course, this is A-Rod we’re talking about, so someone is still going to criticize him.  It’s just sort of how things roll with him.  We should make a contest out of it: first writer or talk radio dude to imply that there must be something wrong or illegal about it all will be presented with a major award.  Anyone who uses the fact that it took place in Germany to make some hamfisted “Boys From Brazil” reference will get extra credit for A-Rod rhetoric above and beyond the usual call of duty.

  1. l0yalr0yal - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    does anyone know why is this treatment not practiced in the states?

    • mox19380 - Dec 28, 2011 at 11:16 AM

      I assume FDA regulations. WADA (Anti-Doping Group) doesn’t prohibit it because of potential non-natural ingredients. the fact is it isn’t simply blood spun there is also calcium and different enzymes which help boost natural human growth hormones within the body.

      I often wonder why this and certain ligament and tendon surgeries that are more popular outside the USA aren’t used here. You look at soccer players who absolutely destroy their legs through 90 minute non-stop running marathons and yet they play PROFESSONALLY from age 17-36 on average far exceeding the average life of any professional athlete in American sports

      • l0yalr0yal - Dec 28, 2011 at 12:19 PM

        One would think it’s only a matter of time before the FDA reevaluates this. If we’re going to allow Alex Rodriguez to have the procedure overseas, and allow him to play in the MLB, it only seems like we are turning players away from an operation that with the approval of the FDA could be done right here on our home soil. Also, regarding your other statement, I think that’s a valid point. When you compare baseball to soccer, it almost seems pedestrian in terms of how much wear and tear you’re putting on your body, but as is true that they do in fact enjoy long careers. I would look for this procedure to be reconsidered; keep an eye on the Adrian Peterson injury.

      • scapistron - Dec 28, 2011 at 2:41 PM

        It is not the procedure itself that the FDA is holding back, but the equipment used for the procedure. In the US you have to prove efficacy through pivotal studies and clinical trials which are very expensive, slow, and risky. If you have a ground breaking device your best bet is to bring it to Europe first. You won’t make as much money per sale but the regulatory barriers are significantly lower making it a better investment from the companies perspective.

  2. proudlycanadian - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    Sounds very similar to the kind of treatment that Dr. Anthony Galea was providing. Unfortunately for Galea, he did not have a licence to practice medicine in the US and was subsequently in hot water. Galea did plead guilty and was sentenced to time served. There was no smoking gun PED distribution case involving Galea, so his case was forgotten by the US media.

    • droopyyydog1 - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:09 AM

      Don’t know about the smoking gun but I thought he was convicted of steroid distribution. That said I had the same thought when I read this, Dr.Galea did the same thing for Tiger Woods.

      • cur68 - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:19 AM

        He had HGH (& possibly other stuff) in his possession. No evidence that he was distributing it, though. I do believe he argued that it was all for his personal use.

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:31 AM

        No steroids were involved at all. He did use HGH on himself legally and provided it legally to Canadian patients. He said that he did not give HGH to athletes he cared for. There was never any evidence that he provided HGH to athletes. He could not legally transport HGH across borders and he could not legally treat patients in the USA. The bulk of his practice consisted of a treatment using a patent’s blood The media sensationalized the case, and once it was clear that the treatment he was giving to athletes did not involve steroids and HGH, the media ignored the case. At the trial, there were numerous patients who provided statements praising his skills as a healer.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:34 AM

        I’m still not entirely clear on this: if HGH can be used as part of a valid medical treatment, why is that treatment forbidden to professional athletes, who have the greatest need and could probably reap the greatest benefit from it?

      • drunkenhooliganism - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:48 AM

        Sabathia- I think you’re stretching the use of the word “need”

        I’m guessing kids with growth disorders might need it a bit more.

        If that was sarcasm, I gave up caffeine (and greenies) a few days ago.

      • Old Gator - Dec 28, 2011 at 2:27 PM

        Considering his histoire de amore of the preceding year or so, I hope he also checked into some alternative ED treatments while he was over there. The Europeans clearly know more about that than we do, and a guy who’s already overactive can’t be too careful.

      • bigharold - Dec 28, 2011 at 3:12 PM


        It’s not the running around with women that’s the issue it’s the time and effort in chasing them that has the negative impact on ones baseball endeavors. I get the feeling A-rod isn’t engaged in a lot if prolonged chases. In fact I’d bet that there is a certain calming effect that enhances performance, i.e. Kate Hudson and the 2009 WS.

        Besides, we’re talking about a game where the majority of the time you’re either standing around or sitting wait for something to happen that usually takes seconds and a majority of the time is not directed at you. Baseball is not about strength and endurance so much as it’s about ability to focus, reflexes and hand eye coordination.

      • jwbiii - Dec 28, 2011 at 3:47 PM

        sabathia, “I’m still not entirely clear on this: if HGH can be used as part of a valid medical treatment, why is that treatment forbidden to professional athletes”

        A player needs to apply for a “therapeutic use exemption” in order to use hGH. A valid prescription and notes the player’s doctor and the team’s doctor (if they are not the same) are all that is required. Over 100 players have TUEs for ritalin.

      • Old Gator - Dec 28, 2011 at 11:10 PM

        Harold: the problem is, look at all the energy the subtle body (suksma sariria in Sanskrit) has to expend making it possible to generate the magnetic field that attracts strange while you’re just sitting in the hotel lounge reading about Rush Limbaugh’s humidor and his backup medical plan to treat laryngeal tumors in an old issue of Cigar Aficionado. You may seem not to be expending much energy but, really, every second more and more life force is slipping away – even if the painting of Jason Varitek in your attic grows uglier every time you score.

    • joegolfer - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:43 PM

      Galea got in trouble because he had his personal assistant smuggle the drugs from Canada to the USA. The drugs were conveniently mislabeled so as to deceive the investigators, but they found them and arrested Galea’s personal assistant for smuggling mislabeled drugs which were PED’s.
      It was in all the newspapers.
      Rather than risk his own butt, Galea let his assistant do the dirty work and also take the fall for an illegal act.
      Pretty sleazy.

  3. uyf1950 - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    Before anyone starts to jump to conclusions as some already appear to have done. I suggest to go read the following link:

    Pay particular attention to the last paragraph and I quote:

    “Lest anyone think this is repeat of the Gallea or even the Bartolo Colon situation, Alex did get the Yankees’ blessing before getting the plasma injection. The Yankees also cleared it with the commissioner’s office, so there will be no surprise investigations popping up”.

    • lardin - Dec 28, 2011 at 3:00 PM

      See Ryan Braun, It’s not that difficult. If you had talked the Brewers front office, they would have spoken to MLB and what ever drug, treatment or therapy you took, would have been approved and a 50 game suspension would not be hanging over your head.

  4. Jason @ IIATMS - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:39 AM

    Performance Enhancing Medical Procedures! The scourge of MLB. The players should just get old like the players of yesteryear did. Grainy, b&w photos, FTW.

    /ends feigned disdain

    • Francisco (FC) - Dec 28, 2011 at 12:43 PM

      How about Performance Increasing Medical Procedures. You can use P.I.M.P as an acronym and then have jokes about GMs telling Doctors: “Pimp my player!”.

  5. yankeesfanlen - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    Well, let’s end the year with a strongly worded LEAVE AROD ALONE!
    He can have his blood spun into cotton candy for all I care if he gets back to 40+ HRs in 2012.

    • Old Gator - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:56 AM

      Len, you ever hear that old saying, “He left it in the bedroom”?

      Incidentally, the Borg have been awfully quiet this orfseason, haven’t they? The Steinbrenner fry have proven as boring as their paterfamilias was interesting (whether you liked him or not). What was it that Paul Newman said about children at the end of Road to Perdition?

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 28, 2011 at 11:13 AM

        I understand that the Yankees have just signed Okajima to a minor league contract.

      • yankeesfanlen - Dec 28, 2011 at 11:28 AM

        Randy and Hal are putting up this ruse about getting under the luxury tax. With New Years Eve coming up, Hank will take Randy out on a bender and we’ll see what happens in 2012.

    • sasquash20 - Dec 28, 2011 at 3:32 PM

      Gay-Rod is a cheater. The reason his shoulder and knee are done is due to long term steroid abuse. The guy is a fraud just like NYC

      • Old Gator - Dec 28, 2011 at 4:43 PM

        Still can’t spell your own name and still a lowlife homophobe, I see. Did a heavy rainfall wash you out from under your trailer this afternoon?

      • bozosforall - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:49 PM

        Looks like sasqueer20 is still not over his mancrush on ARod. Too bad, sasqueer…ARod likes women.

      • cur68 - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:53 PM

        Jeez, the other resident homophobe has checked in now. Can’t you 2 dudes give it rest for the holidays?

      • bozosforall - Dec 28, 2011 at 8:10 PM

        How about if you go screw yourself, cur? You are not nearly as smart as you pretend to yourself that you are. Not by a longshot, which defines the chances that your team will make the playoffs this season.

      • cur68 - Dec 28, 2011 at 11:56 PM

        meh, whatever man. For a guy who can spell, punctuate and string together words well enough you serially reduce yourself to snarling and nipping away at the ankles Red Sox fans like the random strangers on this blog have done something to you. I’m hardly going to take that idiot “sasquash20” s side of anything, so carry on. But don’t for one second delude your tiny little canine mind that you are any better than him. However smart or not smart I may be is irrelevant to how much of a douche you & he are. Suffer no delusion on that score as you yipyap away to yourself.

      • bozosforall - Dec 29, 2011 at 7:46 PM

        Cry me a river, cur. Red Sox fan have been “nipping away at the ankles” of Yankee fans for eternity, so don’t feel sorry for them if they get a taste of their own medicine every now and again. The amount of “yipyap” that emanates from their side of things is 100 times more volumimous than what Yankee fans ever produce, yet they still cry like the little babies that they are whenever they get fed what they always dish to others. Stick to defending your Jays instead of worrying about the Boston losers here. They don’t deserve any sympathy whatsoever, here or otherwise. They haven’t show any penchant for being nice when things have gone well for them, nor can they take it when things go south…in short, they are losers no matter if their team wins or not, so your defense of them is useless.

  6. bigtrav425 - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    this is the problem with all sports and us in general….nothing wrong with experimental procedures and need to be tried more often..Also will stand by my word that HGH is NOT a bad thing and should be allowed

    • Old Gator - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:57 AM

      HGH – isn;t that the stuff that makes you sound like Donald Duck when you suck it out of a balloon?

  7. mojosmagic - Dec 28, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    They took blood from the Alex’s arm and spun it in a centrifuge, mixed in a batch of roids and returned the blood to his body. Neat.

    • bigharold - Dec 28, 2011 at 1:45 PM

      “Of course, this is A-Rod we’re talking about, so someone is still going to criticize him.”

      It took a while but as expected…

    • baseballisboring - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:33 PM

      I’m a Sox fan, so I’m all for saying mean things about A-Rod, but god I’m sick of this steroids shit.

  8. marshmallowsnake - Dec 28, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    This could not have happened to a better team!

    • uyf1950 - Dec 28, 2011 at 2:35 PM

      It couldn’t have happened to a better team, because to put it simply there is no better team.

      • bigharold - Dec 28, 2011 at 3:19 PM

        uyf, … succinct, .. now let the rock throwing begin!

      • mondogarage - Dec 28, 2011 at 3:56 PM

        You can tell how much better a team the Yankees are, than anyone else, by how many World Series championships they’ve won during the 21st Century.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 28, 2011 at 4:13 PM

        Actually since the worldwide celebration of the millennium on January 1, 2000 the Yankees have won 2 the same amount as both the Cardinals and Red Sox. But they have appeared in 4 in total more than any other MLB team. And obviously along with those 4 World Series appearances they have won more League Titles than any other team during that time. So yes my earlier response still stands.

        mondogarage, would you like to cherry pick any other time frame. Because of course your comment would have credibility if you went back to the 1980’s.

      • bozosforall - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:51 PM

        NICE comeback, uyf. Now let the idiot Yankee haters proclaim how the millenium didn’t start until 2001 so the rest of us rational people can laugh at their ignorance.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 28, 2011 at 6:03 PM

        bozoforall – I choose my words carefully. Anticipating someone would try and make that comment. If you note I said “since the worldwide celebration of the millennium on January 1, 2000”. The operative words there WORLDWIDE CELEBRATION. There can be no doubt when the world celebrated the new millennium it was on every media outlet in the world.

      • bozosforall - Dec 28, 2011 at 8:21 PM

        Indeed…yet the Boston losers still try and deny the truth of your statement by pretending that those in New England waited an entire year before conducting their own celebrations.

        The only true dividing line is pre- and post-free agency. And in that regard, the Yankees have won 20 WS titles to the Red Sox 5 WS titles PRE…and 7 WS titles to Boston’s 2 POST. Either way you slice it, it’s a 4:1 margin (well one more title that is soon to come to make it 4:1 POST) that the Yankees OWN the Red Sox in the only measurement that counts. The pretend dividing line that exists at the turn of the millenium affects nothing that is relevant in the real world…an artificial dividing line that only has relevance in the minds of the most insecure of sports fans…when the real dividing line is determined by much more cosmic shifts in how the game was conducted…the advent of free agency. Steinbrenner was the first one to recognize this and used it to great advantage. Any fan of any team would kill to have had him as their owner…an owner to whom the only thing that mattered was winning titles for both himself and the fan base. Just think, Cleveland could have had him first if MLB hadn’t shot down his original plan to purchase the Indians. Thank God for MLB in that regard…King George rescued the Yankees from the Dark Ages when the Clueless Bumblers Syndicate (CBS) owned the franchise. CBS was almost like an artificial-Tom Yawkey clone…although instead of 80 or so years of futility, the Yankees were only subjected to 10 or so years of ownership ineptitude. LMAO

  9. xpensivewinos - Dec 28, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    As the brilliant philosopher Nelson Muntz would say: “HA, HA!”

  10. koufaxmitzvah - Dec 28, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    I am a big believer in German engineering. Using the Volcano vaporizer as the standard, you can pretty much bank on A-Rod being anywhere between 4 and 10 times better than he was last year. And when he gets stale, re-spin the blood again for another 2 to 3 bags of ARodness.

    • l0yalr0yal - Dec 28, 2011 at 4:26 PM

      A big fan of German engineering? Like…

      The streusel?
      The Autobahn?
      Sandra Bullock? (seriously her mother was a German opera star)

      You know what, friend, you and I both.

  11. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Dec 28, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    German experimental therapy = new way to mask PEDs for ARod.

    • bozosforall - Dec 28, 2011 at 8:38 PM

      Meanwhile, the Red Sox players just go to the Dominican Republic for a cheaper version of the same thing (see Ortiz, David).

  12. MightyMoonWorm - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:25 PM

    Thanks for spending three seconds figuring out what a centrifuge does, Craig.

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