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Astros' Boone to have heart surgery
HOUSTON (Reuters) - Aaron Boone of the Houston Astros will soon have heart surgery that could end his career, the veteran infielder said on Wednesday.
"I have been diagnosed as having a heart condition involving the aorta and aortic valve," Boone told reporters at the Astros' spring training complex in Kissimmee, Florida.
The 36-year-old, who played last season with the Washington Nationals, said it was not an emergency situation and that he had known about the condition since college.
"Initially, my doctors thought I could delay corrective surgery for some time but because of some variations in my condition they are now advising me to deal with the problem sooner rather than later," he said.
"Am I going to recover well enough to play baseball again? Probably. Will I play baseball again? I don't know at this time. We'll cross that bridge when we get there."
He did not say when exactly the surgery would be but that he would schedule it this week.
Boone, all All-Star in 2003, has a career .264 batting average with 126 home runs and 555 RBIs over 11 seasons with five clubs.
He is the son of four-times All-Star catcher and manager Bob Boone, and the brother of three-times All-Star second baseman Bret Boone.
"It definitely hits home but I'm doing well with it," Boone said of the surgery. "I'm fairly educated about it now, and I have a strong faith and a great family and friends and team mates.
"I'm ready to tackle this thing and get it behind me and get on with life."
(Writing by Steve Ginsburg in Baltimore; Editing by Sonia Oxley)
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