Ryan Madson is struggling to get healthy as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. The relief pitcher signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels in November that could have been worth as much as $7 million if he reached all his incentives/bonuses. Though Madson was initially expected to be ready to pitch in the majors in April — 12 months after his surgery — he has yet to pitch in a game for the Angels this season. Madson has experienced multiple setbacks and persistent soreness in his elbow, which has left him desperate for an answer.
On Tuesday, Madson expressed so much frustration with his situation that he told MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez he would be interested in something like HGH to aid his recovery if it weren’t illegal.
“If HGH were legal,” Madson said, “just in the process of healing, under a doctor’s recommendation, in the right dosage, while you’re on the [disabled list], I don’t think that’s such a bad idea — as long as it doesn’t have any lasting side effects, negative side effects.”
Though Madson brought up the possibility of using HGH, he says he has never used anything illegal to get an edge on his competition.
“Right now [using HGH is] cheating. I’ve never done anything like that, and I won’t,” he told Gonzalez.
Madson says he hasn’t used HGH and won’t use it because it’s illegal, but he does believe it should be under certain circumstances. If it’s under a doctor’s care, for the right dosage, and used for healing, he thinks it should be allowed. He does make a distinction between HGH and steroids, saying that allowing steroids would be too much.
Madson, 22, was a featured reliever in the Philadelphia Phillies’ bullpen from 2004-2011. He posted a 3.60 ERA with 547 strikeouts in 630 innings for them. He has not pitched in the majors since 2011. It’s looking like it may be until 2014 before he finally pitches again in MLB.
Some people agree with Madson and believe that PEDs should be allowed for entertainment, or to help some of our favorite players return and recover from injuries. Though I believe in using surgery to repair broken bones and torn ligaments, I still have a problem ethically with allowing substances that have side effects like steroids or HGH.