Carl Pavano Ruptures Spleen, Hopes for New Contract

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 08:  Carl Pavano #48 of the Minnesota Twins delivers a pitch against the Oakland Athletics during Opening Day on April 8, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
Will CarrollSports Injuries Lead WriterJanuary 25, 2013

Carl Pavano fell recently while shoveling snow and was diagnosed with a ruptured spleen, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Pavano was reportedly talking with the New York Mets and Colorado Rockies about joining their rotation, but all that is on hold for now.

I've written a lot about Carl Pavano over the years. The player once known as "American Idle" due to his time spent on the disabled list had a career renaissance after leaving the fishbowl of New York City.

Pavano went to Cleveland and then Minnesota, re-establishing himself as a solid mid-rotation arm. Along the way, he's become as famous for his myriad injuries, dating Hollywood starlets and an possibly apocryphal tale of being told he was traded while sitting in a Cleveland strip club.

The ruptured spleen will cost Pavano six to eight weeks, but he did not require surgery. It may cost him a signing, at least until he can show that he's healthy. Teams were already taking something of a risk signing him, after he missed much of 2012 with a shoulder injury. 

Other athletes have had similar injuries. The closest comparable player is actually Jason Witten, the tight end for the Dallas Cowboys. Witten had a lacerated spleen early in the 2012 season, but was able to play after just a couple weeks. He had no further problems. Witten had to deal with opposing players hitting him, something Pavano should be able to avoid.

Pavano could elect to wear a special pad, such as the custom medical padding made by the innovative company Evoshield. The biggest issue is that Pavano's preparation for the season will have a setback and by the time he's ready, he may have to wait for a team to need an injury fill-in. 

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