The New York Yankees announced on Wednesday that manager Aaron Boone will be taking a leave of absence, effective immediately, to receive a pacemaker.
The procedure will be done Wednesday night at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, FL, which is also the home city of the Yankees’ spring training facilities.
“As many of you know, I underwent open-heart surgery in 2009, and I wanted everyone to understand where I’m at regarding the procedure that’s taking place today,” Boone said. “Over the last six-to-eight weeks I’ve had mild symptoms of lightheadedness, low energy, and shortness of breath. As a result, I underwent a series of tests and examinations in New York prior to the beginning of spring training, including multiple visits with a team of heart specialists.
“While the heart checkup came back normal, there were indications of a low heart rate which, after further consultations with doctors in Tampa, necessitates a pacemaker.”
Boone was a player with the Houston Astros at the time of his open-heart surgery in 2009 to replace an aortic valve to help rectify a heart condition that dated back to his college days.
“My faith is strong, and my spirits are high,” Boone continued. “I’m in a great frame of mind because I know I’m in good hands with the doctors and medical staff here at St. Joseph’s Hospital. They are confident that today’s surgery will allow me to resume all of my usual professional and personal activities and afford me a positive long-term health prognosis without having to change anything about my way of life.
“I look forward to getting back to work in the next several days, but during my short-term absence, I have complete trust that our coaches, staff, and players will continue their training and preparation at the same level as we’ve had and without any interruption.”
Bench coach Marcus Thames is the likely candidate to act as the team’s temporary manager during Boone’s absence as the Yankees continue their spring-training preparations ahead of the 2021 season.
“The thoughts of the entire organization are with Aaron and his family as he undergoes this procedure and takes the time he needs to properly heal,” Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said. “Aaron leads our players, coaches, and staff with a rare combination of work ethic, intelligence, and a genuine concern for others. Our only priority at this time is Aaron’s health and well-being, and we will support him in every way throughout his recovery.”