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Tribe’s Manuel Fine After Surgery

May 6, 2000

CLEVELAND (AP) _ Doctors reattached Cleveland Indians manager Charlie Manuel’s colon during three hours of surgery Friday and expect him to make a full recovery.

The operation on the first-year manager was performed by Dr. Ivan Lavery at the Cleveland Clinic.

``He’s doing well,″ said Dr. Ronald Golovan, the Indians director of medical services. ``He came through the surgery great.″

Golovan did not assist in the operation but was briefed by Lavery following the procedure.

Manuel, 56, is expected to be hospitalized for a week and will probably not be able to rejoin the struggling Indians for at least two weeks. Cleveland lost its fifth straight game Thursday night in Toronto.

Manuel had 8 inches of his colon removed during emergency surgery in February. He had hoped to postpone a second operation until the All-Star break, but doctors told him he needed to have it done earlier.

``It’s always a good idea to go in and do the surgery when the patient is feeling healthy and strong,″ Golovan said. ``It makes the recovery easier, and given the time schedule, this seemed like a good time to go ahead and do it.″

Golovan said Manuel’s overall health is ``great.″ He also addressed rumors that Manuel was suffering from other health problems, including kidney disease.

``I heard that, too,″ Golovan said. ``But it’s just a rumor.″

Manuel, who has had two heart attacks and open-heart surgery, underwent a thorough physical exam before he was hired in October and again during spring training. He was also tested following his first colon operation.

``Charlie’s health is great,″ Golovan said. ``He’s gone through extensive testing, more than anyone should have to. And the fact that he’s doing so well is testimony to that.″

The Indians are on a seven-game road trip to Toronto and Minnesota. If the two-week timetable for recovery holds up, Manuel could be back managing when the Indians open a three-game series at home against the New York Yankees on May 19.

Golovan said it’s still too early to determine if Manuel will need more time to recover.

Bench coach Grady Little is managing the Indians while Manuel is away. Little will phone Manuel each day to consult with him, but as he did during spring training, Manuel will make out the lineup card.

``I wasn’t able to talk to him. My wife was with his wife at the hospital,″ Little said.

Manuel, who suffered heart attacks in 1991 and ’98, was just a few days into his first spring training camp as Indians manager when his colon ruptured while in Winter Haven, Fla.

He was diagnosed with diverticulitis, an extreme inflammation in his large intestine that caused his colon to burst.

His first surgery required Manuel to use a colostomy bag and limited his physical activity. He was unable to hit fungoes or throw batting practice to the Indians, two things he always did as Cleveland’s hitting instructor the past six seasons.

Doctors thought Manuel would need at least two weeks to recover from his first colon operation, but he was back at training camp in just over a week.

Manuel has been in baseball for 37 years as a player, scout, coach or manager. He replaced Mike Hargrove as Cleveland’s 37th manager last October after the Indians were eliminated in the first-round of AL playoffs when they blew a 2-0 lead to the Boston Red Sox.

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