CHICAGO -- Tony La Russa is stepping down as Chicago White Sox manager because of health concerns that kept him out of the dugout for the final five weeks of the season, he announced in a statement released Monday.

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La Russa, who will turn 78 on Tuesday, hasn't managed a game since abruptly leaving Guaranteed Rate Field on Aug. 30 after doctors told him he needed to undergo further testing related to a heart issue.

According to La Russa on Monday, there was an issue with the pacemaker he had implanted in February that forced him to step away from the team. During his absence, a second issue was diagnosed, forcing him to take an indefinite leave.

La Russa was under contract through the 2023 season.

La Russa also noted that his "overall prognosis is good, and I want to thank everyone who has reached out to me with well wishes related to my health."

In La Russa's absence, the underachieving White Sox did get an initial boost from acting manager Miguel Cairo, but that was short-lived as the team was swept at home by the Cleveland Guardians in a key September series. The White Sox went on to lose eight in a row and are now hoping to at least finish at .500 or above for the third consecutive season.

Chicago is in the final regular series of the season hosting the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Both teams have been eliminated from playoff contention.

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