Indians' Terry Francona stepping away from team for health reasons - The Athletic

Indians' Terry Francona stepping away from team for health reasons - The Athletic Image
  • Posted on 15th Oct, 2021 10:55 AM
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Bench coach DeMarlo Hale will take over for Francona in an interim manager role.

Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona is stepping away from the team for the rest of the season to focus on his health, the team announced Thursday. Francona will undergo a left hip replacement on Monday. Five or six weeks later, doctors will insert a permanent rod in his left foot, prompting a 10-week recovery period.

“This isn’t the greatest day, by any means,” Francona said, “but I do feel like I’m taking a big step toward getting healthy, and I know I have a long road ahead of me. For me to be able to do the job and do it how I would want and to get some satisfaction and some enjoyment out of it, I have to get healthy.”

Bench coach DeMarlo Hale will take over for Francona in an interim manager role. Francona is still under contract for next season. With 723 managerial wins in Cleveland, he is close to surpassing Lou Boudreau (728) to become the winningest manager in franchise history.

Francona has been in a walking boot all season following a 10-day stint at the Cleveland Clinic to resolve a staph infection in his left big toe in January. Last season, the manager missed time due to gastrointestinal trouble and blood-clotting issues, which required three surgeries in four days and a stay in the intensive care unit.

Francona said he needs to improve his health before he can think ahead to 2022.

“I have to get healthy or I can’t do this job,” Francona said. “It’s one step at a time.”

For more, read Zack Meisel's coverage in the "Go Deeper" section below.

Indians' Terry Francona stepping away from team for health reasons - The Athletic View Story

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