John Fay just published an excellent up-to-date account of Joey Votto’s health situation. I encourage everyone to read all of it. It includes plenty of important information, but if you’re looking for a firm conclusion, Fay’s right, there isn’t an honest one to be found.
So the Votto question which affects the original question – do the Reds have a puncher’s chance to win the Central? – it is so complicated to the point that it’s unanswerable.
The article includes a long and informative section on the platelet-rich-plasma (PRP) injections Votto is undergoing this time around:
“PRP is very successful at replacing this unhealthy tissue with healthy tissue and restoring function and allowing return to normal physical activities. PRP offers no quick pain relief and has no pain relieving properties. Pain gradually subsides as the injured tissue repairs itself. This can take weeks or months, but when successful, the effect is lasting.
“Most patients will need 2-3 treatments spaced about 4 weeks apart and most people will not feel any relief until a few weeks after the second treatment and that relief is gradual and sometimes like a roller coaster ride in that there will often be a few pain free days mixed in with a day or so of resolving soreness.”