CLEVELAND (AP) — Indians manger Terry Francona is resting comfortably after undergoing toe surgery, his second operation since stepping aside for the season in July.
Francona, who had hip replacement surgery in August, had the procedure Tuesday at the Cleveland Clinic. The surgery was to fix his left big toe, which became infected during the offseason.
The 62-year-old Francona hobbled around in a walking boot for months before deciding to leave the team to address his medical issues. Francona will need months to recover from the toe surgery.
Bench coach DeMarlo Hale, who is filling in for Francona, is sure his good friend feels a sense of relief now that the surgeries are behind him.
“Absolutely. I’ve told him, too,” Hale said before the Indians faced the Minnesota Twins. “I think it’s the right thing to do because he’ll be able to have time in the offseason when he’s not up against the clock trying to get to spring training.”
“This is a big step today and he’ll get through this and he’s kind of on the rehab period and I think it’s going to work well. Get around the holidays and Thanksgiving, all should be good and that’s what I’m praying for and hoping for, for sure.”
It’s been a rough two years for Francona. He managed just 14 games during the abbreviated 2020 season due to a gastrointestinal issue that was complicated by blood clotting that landed him in intensive care.
Francona announced on July 29 that he was leaving the team. He bounced back well from the hip replacement, and even attended a few games at Progressive Field while also doing rehab at the ballpark.
A two-time World Series winner in Boston, Francona joined the Indians in 2013 after working for a season as a broadcaster. in 2019, he signed a two-year contract extension through the 2022 season.
The Indians have had eight consecutive winning seasons under Francona. He led Cleveland to the 2016 World Series and the club has made the postseason five times with him.
Francona has 723 wins with Cleveland, five behind Hall of Famer Lou Boudreau (728) for the most wins in team history.
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