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Reds' Baker suffered mini-stroke, may return Monday

The SportsXchange

The Cincinnati Reds revealed on Tuesday that manager Dusty Baker suffered a mini-stroke last Friday, but he is expected to make a full recovery and might return to manage the series against St. Louis, which starts Monday.

Baker was admitted to a Chicago hospital last Wednesday and diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, also known as an irregular heartbeat.

He was about to be discharged on Friday when he suffered a mini-stroke. He was immediately treated by the hospital's stroke team, which minimized the effects of the stroke.

Baker, 63, returned to Cincinnati on Sunday and his condition has improved dramatically, the Reds said in a statement. Baker's Cincinnati neurologist Dr. Joseph Broderick and cardiologists Dr. Dean Kereiakes and Dr. Daniel Beyerback expect Baker to make a full recovery, the team said.

Until Baker returns, Chris Speier will continue to act as the Reds' manager.

Baker addressed his team before batting practice Tuesday but was not available to reporters. Baker released a statement, which read, "While at Wrigley Field I was blessed to have our trainer, Paul Lessard, have the good sense to call in Cubs team physician Dr. Stephen Adams, who examined me in the clubhouse, immediately determined how serious my condition was and personally rushed me to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

"Dr. Broderick and Dr. Kereiakes are going to make sure I'm ready to handle the duties of managing before I return full time. My family and I are very grateful for the support we've received the past few days from Mr. Castellini and our ownership group, Walt (Jocketty), our friends, the baseball family and especially Reds fans. I'm feeling much better, and it's great being back here in Cincinnati.

"Chris Speier and my staff are doing a terrific job, and I look forward to getting back to the dugout."

Speier told the Cincinnati Enquirer on Tuesday that Baker "looked great."

"He lost a lot of water weight," Speier said. "I'll probably manage at this point through Pittsburgh (this weekend), and I believe the plan is he'll rejoin the team in St. Louis. It was great to see him. He looks really, really good. We're all anxious to get him back in charge."
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