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Astros INF Aaron Boone has open heart surgery

March 26, 2009
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HOUSTON—Astros third baseman Aaron Boone had open heart surgery in California on Thursday to replace a bicuspid aortic valve.

The 36-year-old Boone was diagnosed with a congenital defect in his heart where the valve has two -- not the normal three -- cusps to manage blood flow. The surgery was performed at Stanford University Medical Center.

"Aaron Boone is doing fine and awake following surgery. We were able to preserve the leaking aortic valve and replace the ascending aortic aneurysm (a swelling of the aorta)," Dr. D. Craig Miller, who performed the surgery, said in a statement. Miller has performed this type of operation, known as a valve-sparing aortic root replacement, more than 200 times.

Boone is a member of one of baseball's most famous families. His father is former major league catcher and manager Bob Boone.

"I spoke to Aaron's father, Bob, and he indicated that things went well," Houston general manager Ed Wade said. "Certainly our prayers are with Aaron and the entire Boone family in hopes of a full recovery."

The Astros signed Boone in the offseason. He announced his condition at spring training on March 18 and said he's uncertain if he'll ever play baseball again. He said his recovery from the surgery itself would take "several months."

Boone has played for Cincinnati, the New York Yankees, Cleveland, Florida and Washington in his 12-year major league career. He is best known for his 11th-inning homer off Boston's Tim Wakefield in Game 7 of the 2003 AL championship series that sent the Yankees into the World Series.

Boone said at spring training that he felt fine, but a routine physical determined he needed surgery.

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