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Carl Pavano's Freak Spleen Injury Nearly Killed Him

Illustration for article titled Carl Pavanos Freak Spleen Injury Nearly Killed Him

Live by the freak injury, nearly die by the freak injury: On January 12, Carl Pavano slipped on some ice outside his Vermont home, fell onto the handle of his snow shovel, and after taking a moment to recover, went about his business until he couldn't anymore:

"It knocked the wind out of me," he said. "I didn't think anything of it that weekend. We were out on snowmobiles and sleds with the kids. We were building snowmen."

Two days later, Pavano went through a full workout. [...] On Jan. 16, Pavano went for another workout in Westchester. Riding to the facility, he felt a sudden wave of abdominal pain and nausea.

"My body just went into shock," he said. "I turned white. It was one of the worst feelings I've probably ever had."


Pavano says he visited three different hospitals, the second of which advised him to wait on surgery in case his condition improved without it. If he'd listened to them any longer than he did, he could have died. Eventually, he dragged himself to the operating room when his lung collapsed. Pavano told the Star Tribune he was "hours away from cardiac arrest":

By the time he finally had surgery to remove the spleen, on Jan. 19, doctors first had to remove 6 1/2 liters of blood from his chest cavity.

He said he lost 35 pounds in three weeks. At least he can laugh about it now. At 230 pounds, he's as trim as he was as a rookie, he said, but too weak to lift his kids, ages 3 and 4.


Pavano quite evocatively told the paper that his spleen "had swollen from the size of a fist to the size of an iPad." He's been talking comeback this offseason and still is, saying he's determined to return to baseball. General managers should consider it—absent a spleen and much of his blood, he'll report to camp light, unlike some people.

h/t Jake

Pavano's Shoveling Accident Was Nearly Fatal [Star Tribune]

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