ESPN writer Jeff Passan suffers broken back from falling tree limb after KC storms

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ESPN sports writer Jeff Passan suffered a broken back while cleaning up after the weekend storms in the Kansas City area, he wrote in a tweet Monday afternoon.

The storms Friday caused widespread damage, including downed trees and power lines, with winds up to 100 mph.

Passan lives in the Kansas City area, where he covered baseball for The Star for two years starting in 2004, before working for Yahoo! and later ESPN.

He wrote Monday that a large tree limb fell on him, fracturing a vertebrae in his back. He was told he would make a full recovery.

“Sorry I haven’t been posting lately. During cleanup after a big storm in KC, a large tree limb decided to fall and crush me,” Passan wrote.

“The good news: I still have use of my arms, legs and Twitter fingers. The bad news: I have a broken back. The vertebrae fracture will heal. I will be better. I’m hoping the pain subsides between now and the trade deadline, though painkiller-fuled tweets could be a fun time.

“To my incredible family, friends and everyone at ESPN who have been so supportive: Thank you. For the nurses doctors and support staff: I so appreciate your care and diligence. And to those who are so vital to helping me deliver news this time of year especially: My back may be shot, but my phone still works.”

Evergy officials said Friday’s weather event was the largest storm in the company’s five-year history, leaving around 186,000 customers in Kansas and Missouri without power at its peak. More than half of customers had their power restored by Saturday afternoon.

In a follow-up tweet Monday, Passan posted a photo of a downed tree limb.

“This is the culprit,” he wrote. “You can be damn sure I will be making a bat out of it.”

The Star’s Andrea Klick contributed to this reporting.