CLEVELAND — Editor's note: Nick Camino's interview with Terry Francona in the video in the player above is from Feb. 12, 2021.
Officially, Terry Francona is back for his ninth season as the manager of the Cleveland Indians.
Making it to Goodyear, Arizona, for the start of Spring Training, however, was no easy task.
Speaking to reporters via Zoom on Friday, Francona revealed that he underwent surgery in January to address a staph infection in his left big toe. The procedure resulted in the 61-year-old being hospitalized for 10 days and still on crutches as pitchers and catchers report to Goodyear, Arizona.
The two-time World Series-winning manager said that his most recent health setback came curtailed progress made in an offseason in which he had gotten into better shape while working with a personal trainer. It also came following a 2020 season in which Francona missed 48 of the Indians' 62 games, including both of Cleveland's two playoff games, as the result of various health issues.
In October, Francona revealed that at one point last year, he considered retiring due to his health concerns, which resulted in a stretch of three procedures in a five-day span and a four-day stint in the Intensive Care Unit of the Cleveland Clinic.
"Some days when I was extremely frustrated, the thought crossed my mind when it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel," Francona said. "But I tried not to think like that."
Nevertheless, Francona is back to baseball -- walking boot and all.