Yankees' Aaron Boone feeling 'great' after heart surgery, could return as soon as Saturday

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By , WFAN Sports Radio 101.9 FM/66AM New York

Aaron Boone is less than 48 hours out of surgery, but he’s hoping to be back in the Yankee dugout for this weekend’s spring training games.

Boone spoke with reporters on Friday after leaving the hospital on Thursday following a procedure to receive a pacemaker, and Boone was already looking ahead to his return to the team.

“I’m hoping [Saturday],” Boone said. “Now it comes down to intake COVID-wise and making sure I’m good to go. If not tomorrow, I’m hoping for Sunday, but hopefully one of these next two days.”

Boone has already begun his COVID intake, taking tests on Thursday and Friday, including an instant test Friday morning. Given how reenergized he feels after the surgery, he only wished he didn’t have to leave the Yankee complex after taking his COVID test.

“I think I would be there today if not for the intake you have to go through again to get back in,” Boone said. “I took a test yesterday and took one again today, and I actually drove to the park today to do a nasal swap for an instant test. Being at the field, I didn’t want to turn around and leave. Seeing the sunshine and seeing GMS, I wanted to walk in. But no, I need to wait another day.”

Now that Boone has had the surgery, he is already feeling the benefits of the pacemaker, which has helped his heart rate after it had dropped into the 30s before the operation.

“I feel great,” Boone said. “I can’t believe how good I feel. It makes me really glad I got this done. Certainly the last couple of months I haven’t felt anywhere close to the way I did this morning, and even yesterday morning getting out of the hospital. I’m really excited about it. I’m excited to get back.”

The Yankees announced that Boone would be going on an immediate medical leave to receive a pacemaker, which was implanted to treat a heart condition that Boone has been dealing with since college. He underwent open-heart surgery in 2009, and while Wednesday’s procedure was much more simplistic, he can already feel the difference.

“There were some signs there that I wasn’t feeling the way I should be, but now that I’ve got this, it made me realize I wasn’t feeling good,” Boone said. “Just energy level, just not myself. I feel like I had to reach for it every day in a way.
Yesterday waking up, and even more so today, I just feel ready to go and tackle things. It’s different than it was a couple days ago and probably for the last few months.”

Boone’s newfound energy has the manager itching to get back to the team, and while he hopes to do so in the next 24 to 48 hours, he’s uncertain whether his immediate return will find him in the dugout and back in a managerial role. But whatever his initial days look like back with the team, he’ll be grateful for it.

“I think I’m ready to be in the dugout, but I’m not in any hurry,” Boone said. “I feel like I could get a lot done and accomplish a lot just by being there…we’ll see what happens in the next couple days. I think maybe I’ll be on the bench, but just being there and having some of the conversations I’ll be able to have will be important.”

Follow Ryan Chichester on Twitter: @ryanchichester1

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