Boone better with pacemaker, to return to Yanks this weekend

Full Screen
1 / 6

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

New York Yankees' Manager Aaron Boone stands on the field before a spring baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK – Aaron Boone felt something was wrong.

“I guess I was having more episodes this winter of just kind of getting up and feeling real light-headed and almost like at times was going to pass out and just having more days of fatigue on simple matters," the New York Yankees manager said Friday. “So that caused me to want to reach out and just go get checked up.”

Boone had open heart surgery on March 26, 2009, while he was a player with the Houston Astros, a procedure to correct a swelling of the aorta. The condition had been first discovered when he was in college.

He underwent yearly checkups since and said electrocardiograms this winter came back good, with no change, But when Boone was monitored for several weeks, he was found to have a heart rate as low as 30-39 beats per minute, well below the 60-100 considered normal for adults.

So he left the Yankees on Wednesday to have a pacemaker inserted at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida.

Boone was discharged Thursday and hopes to return to the team — and possibly the dugout — on Saturday or Sunday after passing Major League Baseball’s novel coronavirus protocols.

“Me and my new buddy are doing quite well,” he said during a Zoom news conference Friday.

Boone’s pacemaker is to keep his heart rate from dropping below 50-60 or from rising too high. He said his only health restriction was he can’t raise his left hand over his head for about a month following the surgery.