Carl Pavano: Accident nearly fatal

Pitcher Carl Pavano said the snow shoveling accident that led him having his spleen removed was nearly fatal.

"I'm just lucky to be alive," Pavano told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune this week.

Pavano, 37, didn't think he was seriously hurt when he fell at his Vermont home in mid-January.

Pavano, originally from Connecticut, visited three hospitals in the state before finally having his spleen removed on January 19. At one point, Pavano said doctors, who removed 6½ liters of blood from his chest cavity, told him he was living on "borrowed time."

"I was hours away from going into cardiac arrest and probably wouldn't even be here," Pavano said.

It's uncertain when Pavano, who spent nearly three weeks in the hospital, will be able to resume his baseball career. He's currently a free agent.

Pavano spent the past 3½ seasons with the Minnesota Twins, going 2-5 with a 6.00 ERA in 11 starts last year. He didn't pitch after June 1 because of a strained right shoulder.

A heralded free agent after the 2004 season, Pavano signed a $39.95 million, four-year contract with the New York Yankees but then was sidelined by injuries to his shoulder, back, buttocks, elbow and ribs and became a target of criticism for Yankees fans and New York media. He went 9-8 with a 5.00 ERA in just 26 starts over the four years.

Pavano's career revived after he left New York. He went a combined 14-12 for Cleveland and Minnesota the following year, then was 17-11 for the Twins in 2010 before sliding to 9-13 in 2011.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.