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Indians expect manager Terry Francona back for 2021 season

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FILE – In this Sept. 1, 2019, file photo, Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona watches during the first inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Cleveland Indians expect manager Terry Francona to return for the 2021 season after he missed 47 games this season due to health reasons. Team president Chris Antonetti said Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, that the 61-year Francona is back home in Arizona resting and recovering. Francona was hospitalized this season after undergoing surgery for a gastrointestinal issue and then dealing with blood clotting complications.(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara, File)

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Indians expect manager Terry Francona to return for the 2021 season after he missed 48 games in 2020 due to health reasons.

President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti said Tuesday that the 61-year Francona is back home in Arizona resting and recovering. Francona was hospitalized during the season after undergoing surgery for a gastrointestinal issue and then dealing with blood clotting complications.

Antonetti has been in daily contact with Francona, Cleveland’s manager for the past eight seasons. The Indians have made the playoffs eight times since he came to the club in 2013.

“He’s starting to feel better and he’s really confident he’ll be able to manage right from the start next season,” Antonetti said Tuesday on a Zoom call.

Francona is expected to speak with the media on Wednesday. He’s missed time over the past three seasons for a variety of medical reasons.

First-base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. managed the Indians while Francona was out.

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