Yankees’ Aaron Boone released from hospital after pacemaker surgery, manager could rejoin team this week

Yankees manager Aaron Boone underwent surgery to put a pacemaker in place on Wednesday at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida. The procedure went as expected, and Boone recovered Wednesday night in the hospital and was released Thursday, according to ESPN’s Marly Rivera. Boone took an immediate leave of absence from the team, the Yankees announced Wednesday.

Boone released the following statement through the club on Wednesday: 

“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. 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.

“My faith is strong, and my spirits are high. 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.

“I also want to take this opportunity to remind all those dealing with heart issues to remain vigilant in your care and to reach out to your doctor should you have any symptoms of discomfort or trouble. Any issue involving the heart has the potential to be serious. Staying on top of your health is always the first and most important thing you can do for yourself and your family.”

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters Wednesday night, including The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler, that Boone could be cleared to return to the team as early as 48-72 hours after the procedure. Boone has still been in contact with the Yankees players and coaches, even checking in with them via Zoom from his hospital bed, Cashman added.

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner also released a statement in support of Boone: 

“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. 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.”

Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza has taken over as interim Yankees manager during Boone’s “short-term” spring training absence. Mendoza, 41, has been part of the Yankees organization for the past 13 years. He previously served as manager of the Yankees’ Single-A affiliate in Charleston and as manager of the Yankees’ rookie-level Gulf Coast league affiliate. 

Boone, who turns 48 next week, is entering his fourth season as manager of the Yankees. In three seasons, he’s guided the team to a record of 236-148 (.615) and an 11-10 record in postseason play. That span includes one AL East title and playoff berth each season.

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