Richards underwent the procedure, in which stem cells are derived from bone or fat and injected into the injury site in hopes of repairing and regenerating the damaged ligament, on Monday. There is no guarantee the procedure will be successful, but doctors should know in six to eight weeks if it is.
"Garrett weighed all the evidence that was given to him through MRI exams, he researched the process, talked to people who have gone through the procedure and people who have not and came to this decision," Angels General Manager Billy Eppler said. "We support him."
Richards, who went 1-3 with a 2.34 earned-run average in six starts, had all but resigned himself to Tommy John surgery, which would have sidelined the hard-throwing right-hander for the rest of this season and most, if not all, of 2017.
If stem-cell therapy, which Eppler termed a "conservative care route," doesn't work, Richards, 27, could have surgery in July and be ready for 2018.
"He got input from numerous sources, both players and doctors, and felt this was the best course of action … to heal and get healthy," Manager
"That puts you out for this season and most of next season. Garrett has a few months to evaluate where his elbow is. He really isn't having many symptoms at all, so I know he's confident with this course of action."
Eppler said there are pitchers "who have had this procedure and are pitching well in the big leagues," but he declined to name any.
New York Mets right-hander
If the treatment is successful, Richards could resume throwing by mid-July and return sometime in August. Fellow pitcher
Angels left fielder Daniel Nava left Monday night's game in the fifth inning because of a left groin strain and will undergo an MRI test Tuesday. Nava spent three weeks on the disabled list in April and early May because of patella tendinitis in his left knee. …