Granted, it’s a relatively routine procedure– Dr. Lewis “Heathcliff” Yocum performed arthroscopic surgery to “clean up his left elbow,” according to a team release– but Ricky Romero went under the knife this week, and “PRP treatments to both knees to enhance the recovery of his quadriceps tendinitis.”
Yes, those PRP treatments– platelet-rich plasma– are what caused the career-threatening injury to Jesse Litsch last spring, but they too are rather routine.
Romero, we’re told, will need about six weeks to recover. So, he’ll be long ready for next spring, assuming all goes well.
Now then, what do we make of this?
On one hand, it’s impressive that Romero dragged himself out on the mound for as long as he did, and managed to pitch without a loss of velocity, or with a discernible change in his mechanics– at least from what I remember of those who had bothered to look closely at it, though a tweet from @James_In_TO showing his release points from 2011 and 2012 suggests that may not have been so (I’ve suggested that the differences may have arisen from tinkering that happened after he started struggling, though I haven’t actually dug into what we might be seeing just yet– and, frankly, probably won’t).
On the other hand, not that I’m anything like the fucking first to do so, but if you’ve been listening to the Getting Blanked Podcast lately you’ll have heard me say guys need to be congratulated for taking themselves out of ballgames when they’re hurt, rather than damaging the club– and possibly themselves further– by trying to play through injuries. So part of me wonders just how smart it possibly could have been for the Jays to allow Romero to keep running himself out there the whole time.
That criticism, however, only works on the assumption that the issue was simply soreness that Romero was believed to be able to pitch through, or that the pitcher himself was actually up front with the club about the nature of the injury. Does the fact that the surgery didn’t happen until now suggest something like that? I don’t think we can possibly know until they tell us, but if you really wanted to indulge yourself in some wild, irresponsible speculation… um… maybe?
Another question I don’t know the answer to: does it change how we view the Farrell-Romero relationship that seemed to sour by the end of the season, if it turns out that Farrell questioned the pitcher’s toughness while Romero was actually pitching through an injury?
Again… maybe. But, ultimately, at this point who really cares? Because the biggest question of all is, does this change anything about his performance, or how hopeful we should be for a return to form in 2013?
I wish I could say yes. We’ll see…