Tribe's Manuel Fine After Surgery

Friday, May 5th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

CLEVELAND (AP) — Indians first-year manager Charlie Manuel had his colon reattached during three hours of surgery on Friday and is expected to make a full recovery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Ivan Lavery at the Cleveland Clinic. ``Doctors said it was an unqualified success,'' Indians spokesman Bart Swain said. ``Charlie is resting comfortably.''

Manuel, 56, is expected to be hospitalized for a week and will probably not be able to rejoin the struggling Indians for at least two weeks. Cleveland lost its fifth straight game Thursday night in Toronto.

Manuel had 8 inches of his colon removed during emergency surgery in February. He had hoped to postpone a second operation until the All-Star break, but doctors told him he needed to have it done earlier.

The Indians are on a seven-game road trip to Toronto and Minnesota. If the two-week timetable for recovery holds up, Manuel could be back managing when the Indians open a three-game series at home against the New York Yankees on May 19.

Bench coach Grady Little is managing the Indians while Manuel is away. Little will phone Manuel each day to consult with him, but as he did during spring training, Manuel will make out the lineup card.

Manuel, who suffered heart attacks in 1991 and '98, was just a few days into his first spring training camp as Indians manager when his colon ruptured while in Winter Haven, Fla.

He was diagnosed with diverticulitis, an extreme inflammation in his large intestine that caused his colon to burst.

His first surgery required Manuel to use a colostomy bag and limited his physical activity. He was unable to hit fungoes or throw batting practice to the Indians, two things he always did as Cleveland's hitting instructor the past six seasons.

Doctors thought Manuel would need at least two weeks to recover from his first colon operation, but he was back at training camp in just over a week.

Manuel has been in baseball for 37 years as a player, scout, coach or manager. He replaced Mike Hargrove as Cleveland's 37th manager last October after the Indians were eliminated in the first-round of AL playoffs when they blew a 2-0 lead to the Boston Red Sox.