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Originally published Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:13 PM

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Pavano feels lucky to be alive after surgery

Carl Pavano said his parting with the Twins this offseason was a mutual decision. They wanted to move in a different direction, and so did...

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Carl Pavano said his parting with the Twins this offseason was a mutual decision. They wanted to move in a different direction, and so did he.

After the holidays, the free-agent right-hander was cranking up his workout regimen and negotiating with other teams.

Then, on Jan. 12, he had a freak accident while shoveling snow at his Vermont home. After a harrowing ordeal, Pavano knows he won't be pitching anytime soon.

"I'm just lucky to be alive," Pavano said.

Pavano said he jammed his midsection on a shovel handle and didn't realize he had lacerated his spleen until four days later. When he finally had surgery Jan. 19 to remove the spleen, doctors first had to remove 6 ½ liters of blood from his chest cavity.

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

He said he lost 35 pounds in three weeks. At least he can laugh about it now. At 230 pounds, he's as trim as he was as a rookie, he said, but too weak to lift his young kids.

He will have to rest and let the incision heal before he can resume workouts. He knows it will take several weeks, if not months, to regain his strength, but he's determined to pitch again, eventually.

"Right now, that's the last thing I'm worried about," he said. "It's been a crazy few weeks."

Notes

Clayton Kershaw has been selected as the Los Angeles Dodgers' opening-day starter and will become the team's first pitcher to start three straight openers since Derek Lowe from 2005 to 2007.

• Right-hander Homer Bailey and the Cincinnati Reds agreed to a $5.35 million, one-year contract, ensuring baseball will set a record low for salary arbitration hearings. No cases have been argued this year and just two remain scheduled for hearings next week.

• New York Yankees ace CC Sabathia threw off a mound for the first time since arthroscopic surgery Oct. 25 to remove a bone spur from his left elbow. The left-hander made 29 pitches during the session.

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