John Fox released from hospital after heart surgery

Doug Pensinger

Broncos head coach John Fox is out of the hospital, and recovering well after undergoing heart surgery this week.

Denver Broncos head coach John Fox has been released from the hospital after undergoing a procedure to replace his aortic valve, the team announced Friday. Fox was hospitalized after suffering chest pains while golfing in North Carolina during the Broncos' bye week. He released a statement Friday to say that his recovery is going smoothly, via the Broncos' official site:

"My recovery is progressing well -- I am feeling better and getting stronger each day. I will begin the next phase of my recovery in Charlotte and continue outpatient appointments with doctors, who will clear me to return to Denver when the time is right.

"Although I'm eager to return to coaching, my No. 1 focus is my health. I believe in our players and have full confidence in Jack Del Rio and our staff.

"While it's extremely difficult to be away from the team on Sunday in San Diego, I'll be cheering them on from home just like the many Broncos fans who have supported me throughout this process."

Fox will likely spend at least one more month recovering from surgery. Still, the fact that he no longer needs to be kept under the constant watch of doctors is encouraging.

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While Fox is on the mend, defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio will act as the Broncos' interim head coach. Doctors have yet to clear Fox to return to Denver, so he may have to watch this weekend's matchup between the Broncos and the San Diego Chargers in Charlotte.

Fox has compiled a 28-12 regular season with the Broncos since taking over as head coach in 2011. Health willing, he appears to be in line for an extension when his contract ends in 2015, given how well Denver has been playing. The team leads the NFL averaging 42.9 points per game. At that pace, the Broncos will finish the 2013 season as the NFL's highest scoring team of all time.

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