Aaron Boone underwent open-heart surgery in 2009 as his playing career was winding down, so it seemed possible at some point he might need a pacemaker.

On Wednesday, the Yankees announced the Boone would be taking a leave an absence to get the procedure completed and it is believed the manager’s absence would be fairly short-term and shortly before their exhibition game with Toronto, the Yankees announced the procedure went well, is out of surgery and in the recovery room.

“The thoughts of the entire organization are with Aaron and his family as he undergoes this procedure,” Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement. “Aaron leads our players, coaches and staff with a rare combination of work ethic, intelligence and a genuine and concern for others. Our only priority at this time is Aaron’s health and well-being, and we will support him in every way throughout his recovery.”

The first indication Boone was not at the ballpark in Tampa came about 12:30 pm when the Yankees’ daily meeting with coaches and front office personnel was held. It was a typical Zoom meeting except for the fact Boone’s background was a bed at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

“We’ll say a prayer,” Cashman said. “But we also know he’s in good hands. You take the time that life is very fragile and we need to make sure we take advantage of living it and enjoying it instead of focusing on anything negative that goes on.”

In his lengthy statement, Boone was optimistic that the procedure will allow to get back to normal on and off the field, though he said the insertion of a pacemaker is being done because of some symptoms such as a lower heart rate.

“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,” Boone said in his 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.”

After the meeting with his coaches and various front office people, Boone conducted a second call with his players to reassure them, he would be back in the dugout shortly.

“I think it was a shock to most of us,” left fielder Brett Gardner said. “I think his first concern was making sure that we would continue to go about our business the right way with him being gone and, obviously, to kind of ease our minds that we weren’t too overly concerned about him and this procedure.”

Until Boone returns bench coach Carlos Mendoza will handle managerial responsibilities. This is the first time a Yankee manager has taken a leave of absence for health reasons since 1999.

In 1999 as the Yankees were coming off 114 wins and their second World Series in a five-year run, Joe Torre missed the first 36 games recovering from prostate cancer treatment and Don Zimmer filled in.

Boone’s leave of absence is the second by a current manager since the start of last season. Last season, Terry Francona managed only 14 games for Cleveland due to gastrointestinal issues and blood clots and Washington’s Dave Martinez missed three games recovering from open heart surgery in Sept. 2019.

Towards the end of his 12-year career, Boone underwent open heart surgery in March 2009 to replace the bicuspid aortic valve, which may cause the heart’s aortic valve to narrow, reducing or blocking blood flow. He returned for the final 10 games of his career with Houston in Sept. 2009 and is believed to be the first player to come back after undergoing open heart surgery.

“There will be a newer, better version of Aaron Boone returning to us in the next 48 hours,” Cashman said. “I know he’ll feel so much better than he has in the last two months.”

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