La Russa 'uncertain' about resuming managing duties

September 11th, 2022

OAKLAND -- Manager Tony La Russa returned to the White Sox as planned on Sunday, but he was unsure if he would be able to resume his managerial role this season.

"I just think a lot of it's going to depend on the experts," La Russa said. "I think it's uncertain."

Chicago's skipper, who has been away from the team for nearly two weeks with a medical issue, traveled to Oakland to participate in the A's pregame jersey retirement ceremony for Dave Stewart, whom La Russa managed with the A's in 1986-92, '95. La Russa was in good spirits and said he felt good, but he added that he has not been cleared to return to the dugout.

La Russa left the club on Aug. 30, when the team announced that he would not manage that evening's game against the Royals in order to undergo medical testing. Following further medical evaluation the next day, the team announced that La Russa would be away indefinitely.

La Russa was mum on his exact condition, though Janie McCauley of The Associated Press reported he had a pacemaker inserted to address a heart issue. La Russa said he had dealt with a similar issue during Spring Training.

"Health is nothing to mess with," said La Russa, who explained that he went to Arizona for treatment since that is where he gets most of his physical checkups. "They addressed it, fixed it. Now it's just a question of regaining strength."

The White Sox have flourished in La Russa's absence, going 9-3 entering Sunday's series finale in Oakland and surging back into contention under the guidance of acting manager Miguel Cairo. La Russa said he has watched every game in the meantime, saying it's been fun to watch his team put everything together down the stretch.

Though La Russa has been cleared to travel, he's not sure if he'll be at every White Sox game while he recovers, insisting he doesn't want to be a distraction as the Sox continue their playoff push. But there may be an element of good, old-fashioned superstition involved as well.

"If we lose [today], I won't get on the [team] plane," La Russa said. "You think I'm kidding? I'll get a car, and then I'm going to drive back slowly."