Colorado Rockies prospect David Dahl has chosen to have his spleen removed, multiple sources confirmed to Purple Row on Sunday.
The decision to have the surgery, which will take place on Monday, could allow him to return to the field this season. Dahl was injured in an on-field collision with second baseman Juan Ciriaco on a ball hit into shallow center field on May 28. The outfielder was rushed to the hospital and emergency surgery was performed to stabilize his condition and repair a laceration in his spleen.
Initially the plan was to save Dahl's spleen and to have him wear a protective covering, but things have changed per his agency Sosnick Cobbe.
.@ddahl21 has made the difficult decision to have his spleen removed tomorrow. Doing so allows him to return (1/2)— Sosnick Cobbe Karon (@SosnickCobbe) May 31, 2015
(2/2) this season instead of next year, though it also brings other challenges. #Courage #Prayers #RonnieLott1986 #Rockies #MiLB— Sosnick Cobbe Karon (@SosnickCobbe) May 31, 2015
The initial surgery to stop the bleeding was a success, but apparently the laceration was so deep it made Dahl a high-risk candidate for future complications even outside of baseball. Published reports by the Mayoclinic.org state a damaged spleen can rupture from the smallest bumps or blows and typically the patient is asked to avoid contact sports.
Surgery to remove the spleen is typically done laparoscopically, with small incisions in the abdomen. Recovery from the procedure takes 4-6 weeks, but it could take Dahl longer than that to return to baseball activities.
Having a spleen removed can cause further complications, as the spleen plays an important role in fighting off bacteria. A person without their spleen is at greater risk of developing infections such as meningitis, strep and pneumonia.
Dahl is the Rockies' No. 2-ranked prospect according to our PuRP rankings. Dahl was in his first season of Double-A and was beginning to turn a corner, hitting .307 in the month of May, when the injury occurred.