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Aaron Boone to take immediate leave of absence to receive pacemaker

The manager is expected to go into surgery tonight in Tampa.

MLB: New York Yankees-Workouts Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

This afternoon, the Yankees announced on Twitter that manager Aaron Boone would be taking an immediate medical leave of absence to receive a pacemaker. The team said they expect Boone to undergo the procedure tonight at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa.

The manager himself said the following in a statement:

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 added that he hopes to return to work “in the next several days,” but expressed confidence in his coaching staff and players to continue their preparations for the upcoming season during his absence. Bench coach Carlos Mendoza will take over for Boone in the interim until he recovers.

This is obviously sudden and worrying news, especially for someone who learned as a college player at USC that he was born with a congenital heart defect, and later had open-heart surgery to replace an aortic valve back in 2009, near the end of his playing career. It goes without saying that all of us at Pinstripe Alley are sending positive thoughts Boone’s way, and will be rooting for him to get through this scary episode with all speed.