SANTIAGO, Dominican Republic (CBS) – Stem cells are being credited for the improvements that former White Sox pitcher Bartolo Colón has seen to his shoulder and elbow issues.
Colón signed a minor-league deal with the New York Yankees earlier this year. The Dominican newspaper Diario Libre reported that last year, he received a transplant of stem cells to repair the damaged tissues in his right shoulder, followed by a “booster shot” six weeks later.
The procedure involved taking 60 cc of blood from one of Colón’s veins, then processing it into 6 cc of platelet-rich plasma that was injected into Colón’s elbow, Diario Libre reported. Neither procedure took more than 40 minutes, the newspaper reported.
“Since last October, there has not been a leaguer where he has not pitched effectively,” the publication said.
Colón played for the White Sox during the 2003 and 2009 seasons, and won accolades for shutting out the Minnesota Twins 8-0 early in the 2009 season. But after an injury, he had to leave in the middle of the season, and he couldn’t pitch at all in 2010.