CLEVELAND (AP) — Indians manager Terry Francona will miss at least a few more games as doctors try to pinpoint his medical issues.
Francona remains at the Cleveland Clinic undergoing tests to determine what has made him light-headed and increased his heart rate over the past month.
The 58-year-old Francona was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday and will miss Wednesday’s game against the San Diego Padres.
At this point, it’s unclear when he’ll be discharged or if he’ll be able to manage the American League All-Star team next week.
Team president Chris Antonetti said Francona will be out for “at least a couple more days” and that it’s possible he could be sidelined for the remainder of Cleveland’s homestand before next week’s All-Star break. Antonetti said Francona has undergone tests and doctors are working toward a diagnosis.
“It’s just at this point narrowing down what is the specific thing causing the symptoms and how do they correct that,” Antonetti said, “and all of the doctors are very confident they will be able to do that and figure that out in the near term.”
Antonetti and general manager Mike Chernoff visited Francona on Wednesday.
“We talked about a wide variety of issues from different trade conversations we’re having and things going on with the team, so he’s actively engaged and actively itching to get back,” Antonetti said.
“But as I’ve shared with him, the most important thing for all of us is his health, his long-term health and we want to make sure we get him back healthy and ready to lead us the rest of the way.”
This is Francona’s third hospital stay in the past month. He has been wearing a heart monitor so doctors can better evaluate him on a daily basis.
Francona is currently scheduled to manage the AL team in Miami. Cleveland’s entire staff will be at the All-Star game, their reward for the Indians winning the pennant last season.
Antonetti said it’s premature to say if Francona will be able to accompany his coaches and five Indians players to the event.
“We haven’t made any sort of decisions or determinations on that,” he said. “I think we want to take it one step at a time. The first part of that is finishing this first round of tests and letting the doctors narrow down the focus of what might be causing it and get that corrected. We’ll reassess things after that point.”
Following the break, the Indians open a six-game trip in Oakland.
Francona was forced to leave Cleveland’s June 26 game against Texas early after feeling dizzy and experiencing a rapid heart rate. He had similar symptoms on June 13 during a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Following both episodes, Francona underwent an array of tests, and doctors ruled out major health problems.
Antonetti said Francona has not experienced any new symptoms, but he would not address any specifics about the popular manager’s health. He said the team has not discussed the possibility of Francona taking a long leave of absence.
“If at some point, that’s what’s necessary, we would discuss it,” he said. “But at this point, that’s not something we expect.”
Not surprisingly, Francona is eager to return to the Indians and Antonetti described him as a “humorous” patient.
“He keeps everybody entertained,” Antonetti said. “He loves what he does. He’s very passionate about the organization and very passionate about baseball and loves being in the dugout and he’s itching to get back. If it were left to him, he’d be back in the dugout.”
Antonetti said he exchanged text messages with Francona during Tuesday night’s 1-0 loss.
Francona underwent hip replacement surgery last winter. He’s had periodic health issues, including chest pains last season that forced him to miss one game.
While Francona is out, bench coach Brad Mills is handling managerial duties.
Francona is in his fifth season with Cleveland. He previously managed in Boston, leading the Red Sox to World Series titles in 2004 and 2007. He also managed in Philadelphia.
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