Aaron Boone itching for Yankees return from pacemaker surgery

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TAMPA – Aaron Boone and his pacemaker are ready to get back in the Yankees dugout.

Now he just needs to wait another day or two to get through COVID-19 intake testing.

The Yankees manager said Friday he is already feeling the difference from his procedure to address a low heart rate, and is itching to get back after being away from the team since Wednesday.

“I can’t believe how good I feel,” Boone said Friday morning in his first public comments since the surgery. “It makes me really glad that I got this done because I certainly, the last couple months, have not felt anywhere close to how I felt this morning, even [Thursday] morning getting out of the hospital. So excited about it, excited to get back, but really just wanted to extend my gratitude to everyone. I’ve heard from so many people the past couple days and that’s been touching and humbling. I’m just really appreciative of that.”

Boone drove to George M. Steinbrenner Field on Friday to get his COVID-19 test and then had to return home, where he planned to watch the Yankees host the Tigers on TV. He said he expected to be back with the team on Saturday or Sunday, though it remains to be seen whether he will immediately return to the dugout.

“Today’s hard,” Boone said on a Zoom call from home. “You have your morning coffee and this morning, the morning coffee really worked. I was ready to run through a wall. I think I would be there today if not for the intake that you gotta go through again to back in.

Aaron Boone manages a game in 2020.
Aaron Boone manages a game in 2020.
Getty Images

“In being at the field, I didn’t want to turn around and leave. Seeing the sunshine, seeing GMS, I wanted to walk in. But no, I need to wait another day.”

Boone said that how he has felt since the procedure made him realize just how poorly he was feeling before it. In the lead up to spring training, he had been experiencing lightheadedness, low energy and shortness of breath, leading him to undergo a variety of tests that revealed a low heart rate.

Boone, who turns 48 on Tuesday, said his heart rate got as low as the 30s, and was not rising when he would extend himself. Now, the pacemaker will kick in when his heart rate goes below 50 or 60, he said.

“Me and my buddy are doing quite well,” Boone said of his pacemaker.

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