WASHINGTON — Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Rubby De La Rosa is trying to avoid a second Tommy John surgery by having a stem cell injection in his ailing elbow.
Manager Chip Hale said De La Rosa met with Dr. James Andrews and decided to try the stem cell injection instead of another major surgery. Hale didn’t have a timeframe for De La Rosa’s return other than he will miss the remainder of the season.
“This is kind of the next step,” Hale said Monday. “Hopefully he’ll feel better. When he left he was playing catch with us, he was throwing the ball as hard as he could, he just couldn’t get over the little bit of the pain that was in there.”
Head athletic trainer Ken Crenshaw said the team is playing the odds, knowing De La Rosa has only about a 40 percent chance of returning after a second Tommy John surgery. The 27-year-old had the operation in 2011 with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“I think Dr. Andrews’ feelings were let’s just save our biggest bullet for last and let’s try this option,” Crenshaw said.
Crenshaw said De La Rosa had a plasma-rich injection and that the stem cell injection is more complicated. Crenshaw said it’s “basically taking some of your bone marrow out, spinning it down and injecting it in.”
De La Rosa is 4-5 with a 4.26 ERA in 13 appearances this season. In 89 games with the Dodgers, Boston Red Sox and Diamondbacks, he is 26-29 with a 4.48 ERA.