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Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Chad Billingsley was headed towards another solid season last year. In mid-August he was 10-9 with a 3.44 ERA heading into his Aug. 24 start against the Miami Marlins.
In fact, Billingsley was on one of the best runs of his career, having won his six previous starts with a sterling 1.30 ERA.
However, he was pulled in the fourth inning of his start against the Marlins with right elbow pain. Billingsley was diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. Rather than go under the knife for ligament replacement surgery, Billingsley opted to treat the elbow with platelet-rich plasma injections.
He was shut down for a full month and resumed throwing again, reaching 94 MPH in a simulated two-inning game in November. He was ordered to shut down again and started throwing again in December.
Dave Stewart, Billingsley's agent, said his client was optimistic about his progress.
"Physically, Chad's doing great, and he's excited about the year," said Stewart. "He sounds confident. I'm not in his head, but he sounds like he's relieved that the throwing program worked out well. He's pain-free. He said he's right where he needs to be."
Billingsley is slated to be ready for spring training, and the Dodgers are hoping that the plasma therapy was enough to keep him healthy.
They'll find that out soon enough.