Manager Aaron Boone is taking an immediate medical leave of absence to receive a pacemaker, the Yankees announced today. The manager is expected to receive surgery this afternoon at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa.
Boone, who turns 48 next week, released a statement about his health and the upcoming operation.
“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,” the skipper 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 goes on to say his “faith is strong” in the doctors and staff at the Florida 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,” he said. “I look forward to getting back to work in the next several days.”
In the meantime, bench coach Carlos Mendoza will take over as interim manager.
Boone finished his statement asking everyone with heart issues to “remain vigilant in your care.”
“Any issue involving the heart has the potential to be serious,” he said. “Staying on top of your health is always the first and most important thing you can do for yourself and your family.”
In a statement released by the Yankees, Hal Steinbrenner said, “Our only priority at this time is Aaron’s health and well-being, and we will support him in every way throughout his recovery.”