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SPORTS: University of Oklahoma

OU's Ward Has Spleen Removed

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NORMAN, Oklahoma -

Oklahoma defensive end D.J. Ward has hit yet another hurdle in his mission to get on the field.

The heralded freshman recruit has had medical issues recently and coach Bob Stoops announced that Ward had his spleen removed on Tuesday morning.

"It's usually a six-week recovery … you know, give or take some," Stoops said.

Ward hasn't played a meaningful snap since his junior year of high school in Lawton. He then transferred to Douglass but, before the start of his senior season, he transferred again to Southmoore. The OSSAA declared him ineligible to play after denying his hardship request.

Ward graduated high school early and enrolled at OU for the spring but was barely able to participate as the NCAA didn't clear him until three days before the spring game.

This newest setback is unfortunate news for a Sooner defense that is hoping to make drastic improvements from last season. Ward was expected to be a major factor in accomplishing those goals.

Stoops expressed his optimism that Ward will still be able to play this season. If Ward's recovery does take the projected six weeks, he would miss contests against Louisiana-Monroe, West Virginia and Tulsa with an outside shot at returning before the team's first road game at Notre Dame.

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