The Los Angeles Lakers announced that shooting guard Josh Hart has received a PRP (platelet-rich plasma therapy) injection to treat tendinitis in his right knee and that he will be re-evaluated after the NBA All-Star break.
Hart is averaging 8.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and shooting 33.9 percent on threes this season, but he has been noticeably hampered by his tendinitis recently, so it makes sense that the Lakers would shut him down and try to get him healthy using the eight days they have off between their final game before the NBA All-Star break and their first game afterwards.
Hart hasn’t wanted to use his injury as an excuse, but he recently told reporters that they could look at his shooting numbers from earlier this season vs. those since his tendinitis got worse.
The numbers bear out Hart’s point, as he shot 40.5 percent from three in Oct., 37.5 percent in Nov., 38.4 percent in Dec. and 22.7 percent in Jan. In Feb. he has missed both of his 3-point attempts in the two games he’s played in.
I asked our own Dr. Rajpal Brar about PRP, and he explained it as is “a natural component of your blood” that contains growth factors that can help with healing and reducing inflammation” in affected areas.
“In a PRP procedure, blood is withdrawn from the patient, the platelet rich plasma is separated, and then injected back into the site. The research on the effectiveness of PRP on injured tendons is currently unclear. Although it’s shown to have moderate effectiveness, we don’t know if it’s more beneficial than other treatments or if it works better on certain tendons compared to others,” Brar said.
The Lakers need the version of Hart that can shoot back, and if a PRP injection and some rest can help that, then they’re surely making the right decision here. Given how Hart has looked like a shell of his former self since this latest tendinitis flare-up, anything would seem to be better than letting him continue to limp around out there.
For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. All stats per NBA.com and Basketball-Reference.com. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.