RENTON — He flew thousands of miles during a two-day jaunt to Switzerland for a procedure that lasted 20 minutes, but Seattle Seahawks receiver Sidney Rice hopes the trip will pay big dividends down the road.
Given permission by coach Pete Carroll, Rice missed three days of practice this week to make his trip across the Atlantic.
Rice said he traveled to Europe to receive a platelet-rich, plasma-like injection that he hopes will speed his healing from a nagging knee injury.
Rice could not have had the procedure done in the United States because it has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
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“Just help (calm down) the patellar tendinitis a little bit,” Rice said, when asked what the procedure would accomplish. “I’ve had a sore knee for quite awhile. I’m just working on it here in the training room. They’re
doing a great job on it in here with the trainers, so we’ll see where it goes from here.”
Rice said it will take him a couple of weeks to notice the full benefits of the procedure.
Sam Ramsden, director of health and player performance for the Seahawks, worked with Rice in finding a solution for the ailing knee, and they set up the trip during the team’s offseason program.
Rice said he spent two nights in Switzerland.
“It only took 20 minutes for the procedure,” he said. “I got straight off the plane (Thursday) after a 10-hour flight, came in, and none other than my wide receiver coach, Kippy Brown, couldn’t wait to throw me in there (during practice). It was good being back out there, though.”
Rice jogged during the early portion of practice Friday but said he’ll do some full-speed drills Saturday.
Other stars from major sports have traveled to Europe to receive similar treatments in the hope of prolonging their careers, including the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Troy Polamalu and Hines Ward, former Chicago Bear Brian Urlacher and Los Angeles Lakers swingman Kobe Bryant.
Rice struggled through an injury-plagued 2011 season, his first in Seattle. He had 32 catches for 484 yards and two touchdowns in nine games before landing on the injured reserve with concussion and shoulder issues.
But in 2012, after undergoing offseason surgery on both shoulders, Rice played a full, 16-game season for the first time since 2009, and he led Seattle with 50 catches for 748 yards and seven touchdowns. He also played in both of the Seahawks’ playoff games.
The Seahawks limited Rice’s practice time during the season to make sure he was healthy for games.
Rice, 26, is looking for this recent procedure to have a similar effect.
“Most definitely,” he said. “I want to be out there on the field as much as possible to help my teammates win games — that’s the best part of being a part of a program like this. You get to battle with your teammates night in and night out, so I’m just hoping to be out there on the field as long as possible.”
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 firstname.lastname@example.org/seahawks