When an athlete has surgery, the question arises: Will they return the player they were before going under the knife?
When that athlete has an organ removed, the question moves beyond how they will play. How will they live?
For New Britain’s David Dahl, having his spleen removed after a terrifying collision in the outfield was a matter of making sure the organ couldn’t rupture again.
Dahl, an outfielder for the Colorado Rockies’ affiliate in Connecticut, was chasing down a pop up in a game on May 28 when he collided with second baseman Juan Ciriaco. The smash lacerated his spleen and he was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. Four days later he, along with the team, decided removing the organ was safest for him in the long run.
Dahl will need to be extra careful with infections the rest of his life. The spleen is part of the immune system, filtering blood and helping to fight infections.
Dahl returned to action in mid-July and was batting .266 with 6 home runs and 25 RBI.