It has not been an easy six months for Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona, as he missed a majority of the shortened 2020 season due to health issues.
Overall, Francona missed all but 14 games, including the two playoff losses to the New York Yankees, but he has been vocal lately that he’s ready to return to the team for what he hopes can be a successful 2021.
And just like that, the two-time World Series winning manager is once again trying to recover from a health issue.
Francona spoke to reporters Friday via Zoom from Goodyear, Arizona, the site of Indians spring training, and told them that he underwent surgery in January to address a staph infection in his left big toe.
The 61-year-old was in the hospital for 10 days following the procedure, and right now, he remains on crutches as pitchers and catchers make their way to spring training.
At first, Francona was checked for gout back in November, but the pain continued and never went away. Once he got checked out at the Cleveland Clinic, a staph infection was discovered in his toe.
This offseason, Francona was all about trying to get healthy again. He worked out with a personal trainer to try and put the difficult health issues — which included gastrointestinal procedures, blood clots and a stint in the ICU — behind him.
Baseball is Francona’s life, and while he did admit that he thought about retiring last year, he also seems ready to return, despite this latest staph infection setback.
“Some days when I was extremely frustrated, the thought crossed my mind when it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Francona said.
“But I tried not to think like that.”
For now, Francona will wear a walking boot as his health improves, and hopefully with a 162-game slate staring the manager in the face, he can make enough strides to be there for just about all of them.