By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – David Segui says he knows a lot about what Chase Utley is going through. “I had twelve knee surgeries, I had the exact same thing, only maybe worse. I had no cartilage in either knee. I was told I needed knee replacement in ’99, on both knees,” Segui said.
Surgery didn’t work for Segui, but he says human growth hormone did, and he thinks the same could work for Utley.”That’s why I can walk around and my knees don’t hurt,” Segui said. “I used to have to walk down the steps sideways, because it hurt so bad. Now my legs, my knees feel like they did when I was in my late 20’s.”
Segui, who played 14 years for eight teams in MLB, spoke with 94WIP’s Anthony Gargano and Glen Macnow on Monday to talk about the Phillies second baseman.
Segui was named in the Mitchell Report, which contained names of MLB players who tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. In addition to HGH, Segui admitted to purchasing and using steroids during his playing days.
His knee problems got so bad, Segui got desperate. “I started resorting to numbing my own knees before games. I was injecting and draining my own knees. I got tired of going to the doctor to do it. You only hit the bone once or twice till you figure out where it is,” he said.
In MLB’s most recent labor deal, signed in 2011, the players agreed to allow blood testing for HGH. Baseball is the first sport to include testing for the drug. The first positive test results in an immediate 50-game suspension. Currently, the league can only test during Spring Training and the off-season.
Segui thinks that some players should be able to take HGH, if it can help them recover from chronic conditions like the one Utley has. “There should be some exceptions to the rule. You got a guy like this, he’s too young to even think about having to shut it down. Or even the thought of not having Chase Utley on the field for another six, seven years, that’s wrong,” he said.
Segui said that taking HGH doesn’t give you a competitive advantage, unless combined with testosterone. “It gives you quality of life is what it gives you. It doesn’t enhance your performance, it just allows you to move around, and your joints don’t hurt. And people that have arthritis, and suffer from arthritis, I used to think it wasn’t a big deal when I was young, and how bad it could be. It’s painful. It’s every day, every step hurts. It just really affects your daily living. And all the growth did was allow me to eliminate the pain in my knees, eliminate the grinding, that knife jabbing under your knee caps. It’s amazing. Clearly, clearly, it’s a prescription drug. Clearly it needs to be prescribed by a doctor and monitored by a doctor. I don’t condone everyone running out and taking it.”
Though Segui thinks there are great benefits to HGH, he admits that it’s not for everyone. “So, you know, I’m not saying every single person should be on it. But if you have these conditions, and you’re suffering like he is right now. I’m not his doctor, I’m not a team doctor, but I know it would help him, because it helped me. And everyone i know that has taken it, who I’ve suggested it to, feels the same way.”