Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona continues to deal with health setbacks not linked with COVID-19 infections amid the coronavirus pandemic.
As WKYC's Ben Axelrod explained, Francona missed the majority of the pandemic-shortened 2020 MLB season due to lingering gastrointestinal issues and, later, a blood clotting problem. The 61-year-old then told reporters on Friday that he recently underwent an operation for a staph infection in his left big toe that will leave him on crutches through at least the first few weeks of spring training:
Terry Francona said that he started to get treated for gout in November. In mid-January he came back to the Cleveland Clinic and they found a staph infection in his left foot. He had to get some of the bone removed and cement was put in. He’s on crutches and in a boot now.— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) February 19, 2021
"I still have my toe," Francona said during a Zoom videoconference call, per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN). "They just went in and took out some of the bone that was infected and they replaced that with some cement. I guess the cement oozes like antibiotics and I'm also getting the IV antibiotics.
"After another three weeks, I think it's March 7, I'll be done with the antibiotics, I'll be able to start getting off of the crutches a little bit and then they'll see how I'm doing as far as, did the staph go away completely, and they'll look at it again."
First base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. served as Cleveland interim manager during Francona's absences last summer and fall and would be in line to again temporarily replace Francona during the upcoming season, if necessary. Alomar helped Cleveland secure a wild-card playoff berth, but the club was swept by the New York Yankees in the postseason.