MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- Following the Red Sox’ surprisingly abrupt postseason run, Drew Pomeranz had a stem-cell shot injected into his elbow to deal with discomfort that came at the end of his 2016 All-Star season, with the hopes of a quick turnaround heading into the 2017 season.
Pomeranz said he “definitely feels great,” and there was never talk of surgery to deal with the issue.
“We just looked for ways to speed up the process of getting ready for this year and I think we made the right choice,” Pomeranz told reporters at Red Sox Winter Weekend at Foxwoods.
Pomeranz described what goes into the shot and, while some parts sound more painful than others, he said the injection itself was the worst part.
“It just uses your own stem cells and bone marrow to help whatever area it’s injected,” Pomeranz said. “[They extracted marrow] from my hipbone and my back. Nah, that didn’t hurt. The shot hurt, but that didn’t hurt.”
While it’s a good sign that Pomeranz is feeling well and started his throwing after the new year, there’s still some reason for concern with the procedure, given it’s fairly new.
“Stem cell is more ‘experimental,’ I guess you would say,” Pomeranz said. “I’ve heard of guys doing it, a lot this year actually. It seems to be a better alternative to PRP.”
PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma, which is an injection players such as Dylan Bundy of the Baltimore Orioles have had to avoid Tommy John surgery, but it’s been unsuccessful far too often, as in Bundy’s case.
But this wasn’t a decision Pomeranz made alone. The left-hander spoke with the Red Sox staff about it to make an educated decision for 2017 and beyond.
“We kinda talked about it,” Pomeranz said. “I heard a lot of stuff about it this year, too. I ran it by them and we sat down and though [about] what was the best thing, rest or [the shot]. It can rest and it probably would have been alright, but [the shot] just multiplies your chances of being healed.”