MLB probing Bartolo Colon surgery

Updated: May 12, 2011, 8:13 AM ET
By Andrew Marchand |

NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball has begun an investigation into the elbow surgery used by Bartolo Colon to ignite his comeback following a news report that said the procedure was performed by a doctor who has utilized human growth hormone in the past.

"We are looking into it," said MLB senior vice president of public relations Pat Courtney on Wednesday night.

The New York Times reported that Joseph R. Purita, an orthopedic surgeon based in Boca Raton, Fla., treated Colon in April 2010 with a technique that used fat and bone marrow stem cells. The Times said Colon was injected in his elbow and shoulder.

The procedure, according to the paper, was done in the Dominican and there was no charge. Purita said he did it this way because he was working with a medical technology company based in Massachusetts. Purita, who, according to The Times, has used human growth hormone in the procedure before, denied doing so with Colon's surgery.

"I just won't give it to these guys," Purita told The Times. "I don't need the stigma and that kind of reputation."

Human growth hormone is banned by baseball, even though there is no testing for it. MLB investigators will look into whether Purita used HGH or not.

At this point, MLB does not have any evidence that Colon has done anything wrong. They are just responding after The Times' report.

Colon, after not pitching all of last year, has been a savior for the Yankees this season. With Phil Hughes on the disabled list with a mysterious arm ailment, Colon has moved into the rotation. He has begun the season 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA. He is scheduled to start Friday against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.

Andrew Marchand covers the Yankees for

Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »



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