Francona expects to return on Wednesday

CLEVELAND – The Indians will play under the direction of bench coach Brad Mills rather than manager Terry Francona for Tuesday night’s game against the Rangers.

Francona left Monday’s contest around 8:10 p.m. due to illness, suffering from the same symptoms that forced his previous departure on June 13. Doctors have ruled out any major health issues after conducting a series of medical tests.

“He’s back at his apartment now resting,” said Chris Antonetti, the team’s president. “He was seen at the [Cleveland Clinic] last night and this morning. He went through a battery of tests that have ruled out any sense of major health issue, which is obviously a big relief to all of us.”

Mills previously served as the manager for the Astros from 2010-2012 and has additional coaching experience with the Phillies (1997-2000), Expos (2003) and Red Sox (2004-09).

“I’m always concerned any time that happens. It’s a genuine concern for not me, but the whole staff and the team, as well,” Mills said. “I’m glad the doctors checked him out and we’ll move down the road and hopefully we’ll know something tomorrow and we’ll go from there.”

The Cleveland skipper suffered a pulmonary embolism in each lung in 2002 before experiencing chest pain in 2005, both issues that forced him to miss brief time.

“As a friend, you’re always concerned,” said Antonetti. “Thankfully we’ve got some great doctors that are coordinating his care at the clinic. They’ve done every test they can possible imagine. They’ve all come back clean. They’re now working to try to figure out what are some of those things that are causing him to not feel so well.”

Moving forward, Francona expects to manage Wednesday’s game with the goal of leading his club back to the postseason.

“Tito actually wanted to come back to the ballpark today,” Antonetti said. “I told him he can’t come back to the ballpark today. He only got a couple hours of sleep last night, so, despite his desire to want to be here, I thought it was best that he gets some rest tonight and just come back tomorrow. His plan when he was getting released from the hospital was to come over here.”

“I don’t think he was exceedingly happy with me. That’s OK.”

John Alfes has covered the Indians for IBI since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.

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