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Ken Rosenthal writes on David Price injury in his first Athletic story

Lucy Burdge
August 23, 2017 - 2:49 pm

Ken Rosenthal announced on Wednesday he has joined The Athletic as a writer and published a story on David Price’s elbow injury as his site debut

In the piece, Rosenthal compares the elbow pain Price is experiencing to that which struck Nolan Ryan in 1986. Rosenthal writes Price should feel comforted by the fact that Ryan’s elbow pain ceased through self-healing without him needing Tommy John surgery. 

Ryan said he remembers Dr. Frank Jobe telling him, “I think [the ligament] calcified over enough that it stabilized your elbow.’” And this is similar to what Price is going through right now while on the DL. 

While Price’s injury is officially “left elbow inflammation,” he told Rosenthal the problem is more with his lower triceps than his elbow

“It’s kind of the lower triceps—that’s where I felt it,” Price said. “It wasn’t pain. And it was only on an off-speed pitch. The days that I played catch in Seattle [before his second trip to the DL], I could throw as hard as I wanted with the fastball, and it was fine. But when I spun a breaking ball or threw a changeup, that’s when I felt it.

Price thought he would need Tommy John initially, but Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Neal ElAttrache said self-healing would be enough. 

“It heals itself,” Price said of his elbow. “It lays down bone on my ligament. It calcifies and turns into bone.”

Rosenthal notes that after Ryan’s elbow healed he went on to throw four straight seasons of 200 or more innings and 200 or more strikeouts. He retired at 46 rather than undergo a ligament transplant after he tore his UCL. It turned out his elbow eventually healed itself once again. Ryan even said he could have resumed pitching. 

“I could have pitched the next year,” Ryan said. “I was a volunteer pitching coach for TCU where my oldest son Reid was going at the time. I threw batting practice to those kids all the time. And my elbow was never an issue.”

As for Rosenthal himself, he will remain with Fox Sports and MLB Network while writing for The Athletic. 

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