The Fan 590′s Prime Time Sports has taken its show on the road to Dunedin this week, which has meant for a tonne of Jays coverage, including back-to-back interviews on Wednesday with a much more articulate and intelligent-sounding Brett Lawrie than we tend to give him credit for around here, and Ricky Romero, who offered some interesting insight into his struggles and his health– and at the very end made sure to sneak in some praise for J.A. Happ, too!
Especially interesting, in my mind, were his statements about his knee troubles, and the platelet rich plasma injections he received in the off-season, which you can see transcribed below. Or you can listen to the audio here– including the chat with Brett Lawrie, as well as one with Matt Smoral (whose name was being pronounced with emphasis on the “a”). Romero’s segment starts at the 14 minute mark.
McCOWN: What is the situation with your knee?
ROMERO: I had that procedure done, where it was PRP injections, and they inject blood back into you– your own blood– and it was something that I just took care of it, felt it late in the year last year against the Yankees in the last start, and just took care of it this off-season. It’s a slow process with it, it’s one of those things that you have to take care of– you know, with knee tendinitis, it doesn’t go away that easily, so I’ve been staying on top of it every day, and it’s coming along good. I got some good trainers that are taking care of it.
BRUNT: Rick, did the injections work for you? Because I know they don’t work for everybody.
ROMERO: Um… not for me. I don’t think so. I didn’t really see that much of a difference, so… The doctor in L.A. was pretty confident, there’s been some big athletes, like Kobe Bryant who did some–
BRUNT: He went to Europe to have it done, right?
ROMERO: Yeah, and he likes ‘em. But I only did one treatment of it, so I don’t know if I was supposed to do more or not, but… you know. We’re moving forward.
McCOWN: How does it impact you? How does it effect what you do on the mound, if at all?
ROMERO: I don’t think anything. I don’t really think about it. Like I said, when I’m out there, I’m not really thinking about the knee or the elbow or stuff like that, I just go out and pitch. That’s just… I don’t worry about it.
McCOWN: But what are the symptoms? Does it tighten up after a game sometimes?
ROMERO: No, what it is, the symptoms– whether I’m pitching or not pitching– it just gets tight. A little bit tight up on the knee tendon, and you loosen it up. The foam roller has kind of been my best friend all off-season and during Spring Training. You go in there in the morning, you foam roll it, you get the masseuse, whatever it is, and you just loosen it up, you keep it loose, and that’s what makes it feel better.
So… it doesn’t sound like it’s a terribly major issue– though that’s not really what you’d think is suggested by his choice to go and have the PRP injections in the first place (and… uh… apparently not in the second place).
The rest of the segment mostly featured Romero trying to put his best shine on the results he’s had so far this spring, going on about working, and moving forward, and whatever else you might expect a struggling pitcher to say. It sure would be nice if that, and a sprinkle of confidence, was all he really needed, but I don’t think anybody’s going to be convinced until they see him actually put it all together in a string of games reminiscent of his 2009-2011 run. It’s certainly not impossible, it’s just… you know.