Tony La Russa not expected to manage vs. Guardians


White Sox manager Tony La Russa has not been cleared by doctors to return to the dugout and is not expected to manage the team's upcoming three-game series against the Cleveland Guardians, acting manager Miguel Cairo told reporters Tuesday afternoon.

La Russa is not expected to attend the games, Cairo added, although he joked that he hopes his skipper is watching. Cairo continues to communicate with La Russa on a daily basis as he steers the team through the stretch run.

"The experience he has is unbelievable," Cairo said of La Russa. "We always talk."

La Russa has missed 19 games since departing before a game against the Kansas City Royals in August. After a medical evaluation in Chicago, he flew to Arizona to visit personal doctors about a heart issue. La Russa mentioned he's had past problems with a pacemaker he had inserted in his heart. 

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The manager was cleared to travel with the team in late mid-September and attended Dave Stewart's jersey retirement when the Sox played the Oakland A's. While he was there, La Russa mentioned his status to return to the team was "uncertain."

Since then, La Russa has attended the White Sox' recent two-game home series against the Rockies, watching the games from a suite.

In La Russa's absence, Cairo has led the White Sox to a 13-6 record. The Sox have the most home runs in MLB for the month of September (26) and the second-lowest ERA (2.52) of any ballclub in the same time frame. 

The Sox start a three-game series at home against the Guardians on Tuesday. This is a pivotal series because the club sits four games back on the Guardians for the division lead. Whoever wins the division will come away with an automatic playoff berth.

NBC Sports Chicago's Rob Schaefer contributed.

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