Garrett Richards cleared to throw after stem-cell treatment shows 'improvement'

Remember back in late June when we discussed Angels pitchers Garrett Richards and Andrew Heaney trying a new alternative to Tommy John surgery? It's a stem-cell procedure that could take 12 weeks instead of 12 months, if it works.

Well, Richards had his shot on May 16. It's August 15 and ...

Wow. That's not even something vague like "well, he's making progress." Richards is straight-up cleared to start throwing the ball.

Obviously, Richards would still be weeks away from a return and the Angels might not even want him back on the hill, given their place in the standings.

The significance here is this case presents a possibly-realistic way to avoid missing more than an entire season due to a torn ulnar-collateral ligament.

As we noted back in June, keep your eye on Richards. This is developing, for sure.

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered every World Series since 2010. The former Indiana University baseball player now lives on the... Full Bio

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