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OU's D.J. Ward has spleen removed

by Ryan Aber Published: August 13, 2013

NORMAN - Oklahoma freshman defensive end D.J. Ward underwent surgery to remove his spleen Tuesday, Sooners coach Bob Stoops announced.

“We haven’t heard how it’s all gone,” Stoops said.

His recovery is expected to take six weeks, according to Stoops.

“That’s what they usually are, give or take some,” Stoops said. “We don’t know how it will go after that. So we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Two high-profile players who have sustained spleen injuries in recent years were tight end Jason Witten and quarterback Chris Simms. Witten suffered a lacerated spleen in a preseason game last season and returned just more than three weeks later for the Dallas Cowboys’ season opener.

Simms suffered a spleen injury in a 2006 game for Tampa Bay but returned to play later in the game. After the game, the Bucs’ third of the season, he underwent an emergency splenectomy and couldn’t resume running for 12 weeks and didn’t return to action that season.

Ward’s condition is different, though, in that it is more illness than injury.

“It was something where I guess he had an enlarged spleen,” Stoops said. “It had nothing to do with contact or anything.”

It’s the latest setback in a string of them for Ward, who did not play as a senior in high school and couldn’t practice or work out with the team until days before the spring game.

Ward graduated from Southmoore in December and enrolled at OU in January but could not work out with the team until his paperwork was processed by the NCAA Clearinghouse.

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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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