New York Knicks unrestricted free agent Jared Jeffries confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com on Tuesday that he underwent Orthokine therapy in Germany in late May to treat his sore right knee, which caused him problems all last season.
Los Angeles Lakers teammates Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum, as well as New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, have also traveled to the Center for Orthopaedics and Molecular Medicine in Dusseldorf for treatment. The unique procedure, which was invented by Dr. Peter Wehling, involves doctors taking the patient's own blood, spinning it in a centrifuge to make a healthy serum and then injecting it into the knee over a course of five straight days.
"I looked into it a little bit and I knew I wanted to try to avoid another surgery the best I could," Jeffries said, "and that's the best option that I saw."
Since then, Jeffries said that he's had a positive result.
"(The knee) feels great," he said. "The last three weeks, I've been working out and running. The good thing about it is that it's not surgery, so the rehab is pretty much what would you do just to strengthen your knee, and that's really about it. It's not like anything crazy or out of the ordinary."
Jeffries said NBA players who decide to go to Germany for the treatment are doing it on their own because teams aren't connected to foreign doctors. Jeffries said there are a couple in the states who offer similar Orthokine therapy, but it doesn't compare to going directly to the innovative source.
"Do you want to go to the guy who just learned it or the guy who invented it?" he said. "We're fortunate enough to be in a position where we can go to the actual guy that made it."
Since hosting his 10th-annual summer basketball camp for kids in his hometown of Bloomington, Ind., Jeffries is now back in New York, where he's entering another free-agency period. He said that while his agent, Andy Miller, is talking to a number of teams, his favorite destination remains New York -- even at the veteran's minimum of $1.4 million, which is what the Knicks will likely only be able to offer him with their tight salary-cap situation.
"One of the things you try to look at it is definitely your quality of life and the things that you enjoy, and I enjoy New York a lot. I've been here," he said. "And then, you always look at the financial part. Even at a minimum, I still made more money than I thought I ever would in my life. I also want to be on a winning team."
Even at 30 years old and with his previous health issues, Jeffries would be a good bargain at $1.4 million considering his defensive presence this past season. Jeffries drew a total of 26 fouls and 10 charges -- both tops on the Knicks -- and that was even while missing 27 regular-season games.
Jeffries said that he will catch up with Miller this weekend to discuss potential suitors and offers, possibly arrange a few team meetings, and then make a decision the following week.
Jared Zwerling is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.