The good news for Dylan Bundy is his visit to Dr. James Andrews did not end with the dreaded surgical recommendation. The not-so-good news is the Orioles' top prospect will be shelved for at least six more weeks, MLB.com reported.
Bundy, seeking a second opinion on his sore elbow, saw Andrews on Monday and received a platelet rich plasma injection to his arm. MLB.com's No. 2 prospect was then told to rest for six weeks as the PRP treatment takes effect.
That timetable puts Bundy back on a throwing program around mid-June if all goes well. The right-hander has been sidelined since Spring Training, when he complained of elbow discomfort. The Orioles termed the injury as "flexor mass tightness," and Bundy attempted to throw from flat ground last week. After reporting pain, he underwent an MRI which revealed no structural damage.
Bundy then met with Orioles team orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens before seeing Andrews, the go-to surgeon when it comes to arm injuries and Tommy John surgery.
PRP is a relatively new procedure being used in sports -- Alex Rodriguez, Kobe Bryant and Tiger Woods are among the high-profile atheletes who have tried the treatment -- but it is legal and not considered blood doping, a different type of injection that Lance Armstrong, for example, recently admitted to.
In PRP, the patient's blood is removed and run through a centrifuge to separate and isolate platelets and growth factors, which are concentrated into a serum and then quickly injected back into the affected area of the body. The hope is the method, which has no side effects, will help promote a quicker recovery and healing. (In contrast, blood doping is done with blood that is extracted, stored over time and then reintroduced into the body to boost red blood cell counts as a performance-enhancer).
Bundy will remain at Baltimore's Spring Training complex in Sarasota, Fla., while he waits and recovers. He was slated to begin the season with Double-A Bowie after making his Major League debut last September. In 2012, he went 9-3 with a 2.08 ERA in 23 combined starts between the Class A Delmarva, Class A Advanced Frederick and Bowie.