08/19/08 7:50 PM ET
Mientkiewicz's wife has heart operation
Pacemaker implanted Monday; Doug on bereavement list
By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
"She's home and in some pain," Russell said. "Everything seems to be going as well as could be expected. The doctors told us it went perfect. She got to go home today so that's a good sign."
Russell also went into a little more detail concerning the complications.
Jodi Mientkiewicz first went to the cardiologist last Friday, after dealing with shortness of breath and a dropping heart rate over the previous week. Russell said that her heart rate had dropped to as low as 35 beats per minute. A normal resting heart rate is typically between 60 and 100 beats per minute.
The cardiologist discovered a viral infection in a critical location of Mientkiewicz's heart, to which the doctor said "you couldn't put a bullet or a needle in a worse spot to where the infection is," according to Russell. The infection kept the heart rate low and prevented the top of her heart from sending a signal to the bottom of it.
Russell and the team found out that the surgery was successful just prior to boarding the Pirates' charter flight to St. Louis on Monday. Mientkiewicz stayed back in Pittsburgh with his wife and was put on the bereavement list. He is eligible to come off on Friday at the earliest.
"Obviously he was not good," Russell said of Doug. "He was up and down emotionally obviously. I think the whole team was. I was. He's almost like another son to me. It was tough for everybody."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.