Rangers reliever Jake Diekman has colon removed

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Jake Diekman, a key member of the Rangers’ bullpen last year, will miss at least the first half of the 2017 season after having his colon removed Wednesday.

Diekman, 30, was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis when he was 11, according to The Dallas Morning News. He lost 20 pounds over the course of a severe flare-up in December and decided to embark on a series of procedures designed to fix the issue.

The first step was a four-hour surgery Wednesday in which his colon was removed, and follow-up procedures will create a reservoir called a J-pouch that will replace the colon.

Diekman is documenting the process in a series of video diaries for The Morning News, the first of which can be seen here.

The left-hander appeared in 66 games for Texas last season, posting a 3.40 ERA and picking up four saves. He joined the Rangers at the July 2015 trade deadline as part of the deal that brought Cole Hamels from Philadelphia.

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