Terry Francona expected to return to Cleveland in 2022 after missing time due to health

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Cleveland manager Terry Francona is expected to return to the team next year after missing half the season due to his health. Team president Chris Antonetti said Saturday the team views Francona as its manager next season, according to Zack Meisel of The Athletic.

Francona stepped away in late July due to a number of health-related issues. He underwent hip replacement surgery in August and had surgery on his left big toe in September. When Francona was with the team, his leg was in a walking boot due to his toe. 

With Francona out, bench coach DeMarlo Hale has managed the club. Hale has gone 21-25 since taking over in July.

Terry Francona has kept up with team while out

Francona, 62, has been able to watch Cleveland's games while sidelined. He was participated in recovery work at Progressive Field, and has watched games with Antonetti and general manager Mike Chernoff at the park.

Cleveland will monitor Francona's progress throughout the offseason. Antonetti said there's "no reason to think" Francona won't be back, but the team wants to be prepared just in case he's unable to return. 

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Francona has spent 21 seasons as a major-league manager. He's won two World Series, both with the Boston Red Sox. Francona also won two Manager of the Year awards. 

Francona also missed time in 2020 due to gastrointestinal issues. He underwent three surgeries in four days after developing blood clots.

Terry Francona with Cleveland.
Terry Francona is expected to return as Cleveland's manager in 2022. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
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