Acting manager Joe Pettini, who is serving in La Russa's stead while the longtime skipper takes some time off to recuperate from shingles, said Wednesday that La Russa was leaving Phoenix to head back to St. Louis. La Russa had been in the Phoenix area for evaluation and treatment for his illness, as well as for an unrelated routine physical exam.
"He sounded better," said Pettini, who has stayed in regular touch with La Russa. "When I called, he was on his way to the airport to head back to St. Louis. He did sound better, and he told me he's taking all the medication that they've given him. He's going to go back there and keep up with that and get some rest. But he did sound better."
The club has asked media members to refrain from contacting La Russa this week. Instead, he went straight to Twitter to give an update on his status.
"Much appreciate all who have shown concern," he wrote. "Besides discomfort, biggest issue is too much attention!"