In an attempt to speed up his return to theGolden State Warriors‘ lineup, reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry underwent platelet-rich plasma treatment on the right knee he sprained during the first round of the 2016 NBA playoffs, according to Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group:
[Follow Dunks Don’t Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]
PRP, which is said to promote healing, was given to Curry on the second day of his recovery process, he said.
Curry could be nearing a return to basketball activities nine days after suffering a Grade 1 MCL sprain.
Warriors general manager Bob Myers declined to comment on whether or not Curry had undergone PRP therapy during a Tuesday interview on 95.7 The Game.
“Did you ask him? Did you guys ask him? I’m not answering your question,” he joked. “You’ve got to ask him, man. I know the answer to your question, but it’s not my body and it’s not me.”
Many of us NBA fans were introduced to PRP treatment in the summer of 2011, when Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant jetted off to Germany for “a derivation of platelet-rich plasma therapy” aimed at stimulating healing in his arthritic right knee. Here’s how Dr. Matt McCarthy described the procedure at Deadspin’s Regressing blog back in 2013:
The treatment involved spinning samples of Kobe’s own blood to concentrate the platelets from the rest of the blood and then injecting the platelet rich portion of the blood back into his knee. Following the procedure, he returned to the states and played with significantly less pain in his arthritic right knee.
The rationale for using this therapy remains compelling: it’s relatively cheap, minimally invasive, and the platelets harbor growth factors—fibroblast growth factor, connective tissue growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, etc.—that are thought to accelerate the natural healing process and promote blood vessel formation and cartilage repair. The entire process can take less than fifteen minutes and increases the concentration of platelets and growth factors up to 500%. Growth is a crucial part of the healing process, so this is great news for athletes.
There are, however, differences between the therapy Kobe received, known as Orthokine orRegenokine treatment, and “traditional” PRP treatments; Jeff Stotts of invaluable injury-focused site In Street Clothes explained them back in 2014.
Bryant wasn’t the first NBA player to walk a PRP-like path in pursuit of non-surgical solutions to nagging issues; Brandon Roy and Acie Law tried it one year earlier, and Wesley Matthews went for it just before Kobe’s trip to Germany. After Kobe popularized it, though, a number of NBA players have opted for similar treatments, including Dwyane Wade, Deron Williams, Pau Gasol,Metta World Peace and Dwight Howard.