Injured NCAA football stars in the “Eureka State” of California may have found a way to return to football by the season opener. It was reported in the LA Times yesterday, that UCLA quarterback Kevin Prince received Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) for a painful muscle injury in his lower back. The San Fransisco Chronicle reported last week, that Stanford’s defensive tackle James McGillicuddy, who endured two unsuccessful knee surgeries for a torn patellar tendon and only returned to his position after he received Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy, may start this year at offensive lineman.
Prince sustained the muscle injury to his back on August 10 and lost throwing velocity, enduring the pain of practicing through the injury. He then received a Platelet-Rich Plasma injection last Thursday and practiced yesterday pain-free.
“I felt like I could have done more throwing today, but [offensive coordinator Norm] Chow wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to aggravate it,” Prince said. “Tomorrow, if I come out here and throw without any pain I should be all right.”
Prince said he still felt “tightness” in the area, but after the PRP injection, was no longer in pain when he threw. If Prince’s treated injury continues to improve, he will likely start Saturday again Kansas State in the season opener.
350 miles north, Stanford’s James McGillicuddy lost three seasons to injuries between 2005-2007. His most recent injury- a torn patellar tendon in his right knee- was operated on twice and rehabbed continuously, yet the lineman still suffered from significant pain. McGillicuddy’s father, a neurosurgeon, believed there was one more “experimental” option worth exploring: Platelet-Rich Plasma. They visited leading PRP expert at Stanford Hospital’s Menlo Clinic, Dr. Allan Mishra following the unsuccessful knee surgeries.
“I like to finish what I start,” said McGillicuddy. “I thought, hey, I’ve had some bad luck, but I’ll give it one more shot. They said they had this experimental thing. ‘Why don’t we try it on you?’ They had done it before on tennis elbows and Achilles tendons.”
Dr. Mishra performed the PRP injection in 2007 and McGillicuddy saw game action as a defensive lineman in 2008, saying his knee felt great.
“What made his case special is he came back to play at an elite level,” said Dr. Mishra. “It’s a testament not just to the procedure but to his diligence and hard work.”
Kevin Prince is hoping PRP therapy also provides him an expedited return to the game.