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Arizona’s Mike Candrea passes stress test at UMC; his return to field is uncertain

Mike Candrea

Mike Candrea's team has five home games this week. Photo by Mark Evans, TucsonCitizen.com

Arizona Wildcats softball coach Mike Candrea passed a cardiac stress test Monday afternoon at University Medical Center a day after being hospitalized with chest pain and stress-related symptoms, assistant coach Larry Ray said.

He was set to undergo another test Monday night and could be released Tuesday morning, if all goes well, according to a UA official.

Ray said the team is preparing to be without Candrea for a two-game series against San Diego State that begins Tuesday at Hillenbrand Stadium at 7 p.m. The teams also play Wednesday at 3 p.m.

The Wildcats begin a three-game home set against Stanford on Friday.

“We’re hoping he’s back for the Stanford series,” Ray said. “If not, it’s still game on.”

Candrea, 56, left Sunday’s game at Arizona State and was taken via ambulance to a hospital after complaining of dizziness and chest pain. He was transported to UMC on Sunday night.

Ray said he hadn’t spoken with Candrea directly but has been in frequent contact with Candrea’s wife, Tina.

“I can’t begin to tell you how many messages I’ve gotten from all sources — alumni and just people all over the country,” Ray said. “I just say, ‘Hey, he’s OK and I’m thinking positive he will be back soon.’”

Ray addressed the team Monday to give the players the latest update.

“They took it pretty good,” Ray said.

“I said, ‘You guys have to see daily how much he’s into this profession and this sport. Just think about that for a minute. Just think about how much loves you guys and this sport.’

“It just caught up to him a little bit. … I would say he’s far from being burned out. He’s still got the fire. But there’s pressure. He’s got such a high standard. For him to live up to it every day has to be a little tough.”

As he did Sunday, Ray will take over head coaching duties in Candrea’s absence, including coaching from third base when the Wildcats are at bat. Ray has spent two seasons as Arizona’s head coach, in 2004 and 2008, when Candrea was coaching the U.S. Olympic team.

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