Rockies prospect has spleen removed to return to field quicker


Colorado Rockies prospect David Dahl elected to have surgery to remove his spleen so he could speed up his return to the field following an outfield collision.

The center fielder for Double-A New Britain crashed into his second baseman while trying to make a running catch on a blooper during a game Thursday in New Britain, Connecticut. He then had surgery to repair his spleen.

Had he waited for it to heal, Dahl would’ve more than likely missed the rest of the season.

By having the spleen removed in a procedure Monday, Dahl may return in four to six weeks. His Agent, Adam Karon, said he spoke with the family and that "everything went according to plan" with the surgery.

"The question was: Are you thinking this through and making a wise choice that can affect the rest of your life? In his case, there wasn’t a question. He wanted it done," Karon said in a phone interview. "To him, it was something he was willing to tackle in exchange to play again this year."

The Rockies fully supported the decision made by Dahl, who was selected by the organization with the 10th overall pick in 2012.

"In talking to David and our medical team — and really making sure we all got on the same page with what was best for David — this is the decision we came to," said Zach Wilson, the senior director of player development for the Rockies. "It’s the right choice for his career and also his life.

"There’s no doubt in my mind he’ll be back and better than ever, playing the way he’s accustomed to playing," Wilson added.

Karon said there were dangers even if Dahl returned with a repaired spleen, especially given Dahl’s go-for-everything nature in the outfield.

"You play with a previous lacerated spleen, you could hurt it again running into the wall or a teammate," he explained.

Without his spleen, Dahl will need a regular series of vaccinations to avoid infection.

In 2013, Dahl missed all but 10 games with Class-A Asheville because of a leg injury. He bounced back by hitting a combined .299 in 2014 as he split time between Asheville and High-A Modesto.

He was hitting .269 with three homers for the Rock Cats when he got hurt. He was racing in to make a sliding catch when he crashed into second baseman Juan Ciriaco. Dahl stayed down for several moments before being taken to a hospital.

"The kid has worked so hard the last two offseasons," Karon said. "He’s incredibly tough."

Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said he texted Dahl and wished him a quick recovery.

"I know how tough injuries can be and I told him to hang in there and do what he could," Tulowitzki said.