Tony La Russa Not Yet Cleared by Doctors to Return to Dugout as White Sox Manager

Adam WellsSeptember 10, 2022

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - AUGUST 26: Tony La Russa #22 of the Chicago White Sox looks over the dugout during a game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on August 26, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/Getty Images)
Chase Agnello-Dean/Getty Images

Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa will be with the team for Sunday's series finale against the Oakland Athletics, but not in his normal role.

The White Sox announced their medical staff has given La Russa approval to travel to Oakland to participate in Dave Stewart's retirement ceremony before tomorrow's game, but he is not yet medically cleared to manage games yet.

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La Russa has been away from the team since Aug. 31 to undergo tests for an unspecified medical condition. Bench coach Miguel Cairo has filled in as interim manager in the 77-year-old's absence.

Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported on Sept. 8 that La Russa is hoping to return to his managerial duties with the White Sox "as early as next week" following an extensive medical checkup.

Friends of La Russa told Heyman the legendary skipper "is going to be OK."

After leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a World Series title in 2011, La Russa retired as a manager. He did continue to work in Major League Baseball in various roles for the league and teams.

White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf convinced La Russa to come out of retirement in October 2020 to manage the team. He began his managerial career with the club when he replaced Don Kessinger midway through the 1979 season.

La Russa went 522-510 with one playoff appearance in nine seasons during his first run with the White Sox before being fired midway through the 1986 campaign.

Chicago won the American League Central for the first time since 2008 in La Russa's first season back with the club in 2021. The team lost to the Houston Astros in the ALDS.

Things haven't gone smoothly for the White Sox so far this season, but they are making a late charge up the AL Central standings. They have won eight of their last 10 games and trail the Cleveland Guardians by 1.5 games for first place in the division.

The White Sox play two home games against the Colorado Rockies early next week before beginning a four-game road trip starting on Sept. 15 at Cleveland.