As reported by Mike Berardino at twincities.com, Pavano had a freak accident while shoveling snow that almost cost him his life. After suffering a ruptured spleen, he was cleared six months ago to resume normal activities. He has no way to know if he can pitch again at the Major League level, but wants to give it a try.
"I've been working out, throwing, just taking things gradually, and we'll see where it brings me," Pavano said this week in a phone interview with the Pioneer Press. "Even after everything I went through this year, not just medically but missing a whole season, I feel good. I'm still young, so I'm preparing myself like there's a possibility."
Pavano has many hurdles to overcome to get back to the Major Leagues. He will turn 38 on January 8 and a strained shoulder and bruised humerus bone limited him to 11 starts in 2012. His velocity dropped to the mid 80's. Now he has a ruptured spleen to overcome, but for now he just looks one day at a time and see how he feels as it gets closer to spring training.
Pavano would like to sign with a contender, but just getting back into the game to help any team is a plus.
"For now, I'm enjoying the holidays with the kids and just moving forward," Pavano said. "If everything keeps feeling good, I'll see where I'm at in a month or two. Either way, I know I'd have to go into February and March and win a job. That's not going to change."
"If I'm coming back, I could help any team," he said. "At 38 is that realistic? I don't know. But I'm going to give it a try. What else have I got?"Pavano has a career record of 108-107 with a 4.39 ERA. In 302 games, he's thrown 1,788 2/3 innings and struck out 1,091. Pavano was an All-Star in 2004 when he went 18-8 with the Marlins. He won 17 games with the Twins in 2004 and last pitched on June 1, 2012.
Realistically, if Pavano were to return, he would probably sign with a team that needs a veteran presence on the staff. His role would most likely be a short man out of the bullpen. If Pavano can accomplish that, it would be a great story and satisfying way to end a long and steady career.