Free agent pitcher Carl Pavano said he almost died when he had to have his spleen removed after a snow shoveling accident in January.

"I'm just lucky to be alive," Pavano told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune during the week.

Initially, Pavano did not believe he was seriously injured when he fell at his home in Vermont. After visiting three hospitals, he had his spleen removed on Jan. 19.

Doctors told Pavano he was living on "borrowed time" after having 6 1/2 liters of blood drained from his chest cavity.

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