Reds manager Baker won't return until next week

Associated Press Modified: September 25, 2012 at 5:31 pm •  Published: September 25, 2012
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CINCINNATI (AP) — Reds manager Dusty Baker had a mini-stroke in addition to his irregular heartbeat last week and will need another week of rest before he's able to rejoin the team for the final regular season series and the playoffs.

The 63-year-old manager disclosed his condition to his players on Tuesday before the start of a series against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Bench coach Chris Speier and players said Baker was upbeat and visibly thinner.

"He's lost a lot of water weight," Speier said. "He was anxious (to get back). It was great to see him. Again, he looks really, really good. We're all anxious to get him back in charge."

Speier will manage the three-game series against the Brewers and a three-game series in Pittsburgh over the weekend. Baker could return for the final three games in St. Louis starting Monday, followed by the playoffs.

The Reds clinched their second NL Central title in the last three years while Baker was still in a Chicago hospital on Saturday night.

"I'm feeling much better, and it's great being back here in Cincinnati," Baker said, in a statement released after he met with owner Bob Castellini and his players. "Chris Speier and my staff are doing a terrific job, and I look forward to getting back to the dugout."

Baker's had an irregular heartbeat for some time. He felt sick while the team was in Chicago for a series last Wednesday and was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Baker revealed that when he was being released from the hospital on Friday, he suffered a mini-stroke.

"He had some slurred speech," pitcher Bronson Arroyo said, describing the symptoms Baker experienced on Friday. "The diagnosis was a slight stroke. The stroke team was right there and got after it. He said they said they see it all the time. They took care of it."

Baker said the immediate treatment "minimized the effects of the stroke." His cardiologists said in the statement that his condition has "improved dramatically" and a full recovery is expected.

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