Reds: Dusty Baker suffered a mini-stroke

CINCINNATI - The Reds announced Tuesday that Dusty Baker suffered a mini-stroke while in a Chicago hospital this past weekend.

Baker was originally admitted to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago and diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, commonly referred to as an irregular heartbeat.

As Baker was being discharged on Friday, he suffered a mini-stroke and immediately was treated by the hospital's stroke team, which minimized the effects of the stroke, according to the Reds.

Dusty returned to Cincinnati Sunday, and the Reds say his condition has improved dramatically.

Baker met with his team before Tuesday's game.

"He looks good, like he went on a diet for the last two months, because I guess he was holding a lot of water from the irregular heartbeat," said Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo.

Baker's Cincinnati neurologist and cardiologists expect him to make a full recovery and return to the dugout, possibly as soon as the Reds' regular season's final series in St. Louis.

"We're going to have him back which is nice to know because it definitely would be a little strange going into the battle of playoff time without your skipper that you've had for the last five years," said Arroyo.

"While at Wrigley Field I was blessed to have our trainer, Paul Lessard, have the good sense to call in Cubs team physician Dr. Stephen Adams, who examined me in the clubhouse, immediately determined how serious by condition was and personally rushed me to Northwestern Memorial Hospital," Baker said in a statement. "Dr. Broderick and Dr. Kereiakes are going to make sure I'm ready to handle the duties of managing before I return full time. My family and I are very grateful for the support we've received the past few days from Mr. Castellini and our ownership group, Walt, our friends, the baseball family and especially Reds fans. I'm feeling much better, and it's great being back here in Cincinnati. Chris Speier and my staff are doing a terrific job, and I look forward to getting back to the dugout."

Chris Speier, the Reds bench coach, will remain the acting manager of the club until Baker is healthy enough to return.

The Reds take on the Milwaukee Brewers for their final home series of the regular season beginning Tuesday night at 7:10 p.m.

The Reds have clinched the NL Central Division Championship, and are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs, but are still battling to get the number one overall seed in the National League, which would pin them against the winner of the Wild Card play-in game.

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