Report: MLB investigating Colon's surgery

SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 9:48 AM ET

NEW YORK -- New York Yankees pitcher Bartolo Colon reportedly underwent an innovative surgical procedure in April 2010 that is being investigated by Major League Baseball.

According to an article in the New York Times, a surgeon based in Florida flew to the Dominican Republic to lead a team of doctors in a procedure on Colon. Dr. Joseph R. Purita told the paper that he used fat and bone marrow stem cells from Colon and injected them back into the pitcher's elbow and shoulder to help repair ligament damage and a torn rotator cuff.

Purita told the paper he has used human growth hormone in such treatments, but did not with Colon.

"This is the future of sports medicine, in particular," Purita told the Times. "Here it is that I got a guy back playing baseball and throwing pitches at 95 miles per hour."

Colon was the American League Cy Young winner in 2005 with the Angels and last pitched for the White Sox in 2009 before arm problems sidelined him and caused him to miss the entire 2010 season. He was signed to a minor league contract by the Yankees this offseason on the advice of bench coach Tony Pena, who managed Colon in Dominican winter league ball.

The Times said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was unaware of the procedure when the team signed Colon. Cashman was apparently notified by Colon's agent as the Times began work on the story. The GM then reportedly informed Major League Baseball.

Purita told the paper he has used HGH in treatments of ligament, tendinitis and arthritic conditions, but never on professional athletes. He said he has worked with players in baseball and football in recent years.

"I just won't give it to those guys," Purita told the Times. "I don't need the stigma and that kind of reputation."

Colon earned a spot on the Yankees' staff with a strong spring training and began the year in the bullpen. The 37-year-old right-hander was promoted to the starting rotation after Phil Hughes went on the disabled list and in seven games this season has a record of 2-1 with a 3.86 earned run average. He is 2-0 in four starts.


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