Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that forward Sean Avery suffered a lacerated spleen in Tuesday night’s game, and will be sidelined for the remainder of the season.
He was taken to St. Vincent’s hospital after the game, and was admitted following a CT scan. He is expected to make a full recovery during the off-season.
The spleen is an organ found in all vertebrate animals. In humans, the spleen is located in the abdomen of the body, where it functions in the destruction of old red blood cells and holds a reservoir of blood.
What's interesting about this story (other than perhaps the prevalence of these injuries in hockey players over the years) is that there was an original report from the New York Daily News that said Avery had gone into cardiac arrest in the middle of the night.
It's since been removed from the online edition, but I believe it ran in the papers and Eric McErlain at AOL FanHouse has a roundup of that coverage. The original online piece can be found in this screen shot.
On the spleen front, Peter Forsberg had the organ removed during the 2001 playoffs after he "complained of stomach pain and coughed up blood after a game." The Leafs' Nikolai Borschevsky also had his removed after a hit in a game in 1993.
The Tampa Tribune had a look at various spleen injuries in sports in the fall of 2006.