Denver Broncos head coach John Fox recovering from heart surgery; may be out up to two months

Denver - Denver Broncos head coach John Fox is recovering from successful aortic heart valve replacement at a Charlotte-area hospital.

Broncos Exec. VP of Football Operations John Elway announced in a press conference Monday that Fox underwent surgery around 6 a.m. MT Monday. Elway said he had spoken to Fox last night, who was in good spirits.

"He was ready to take this head-on and understood where he was. And so, I just tried to comfort him and let him know to take care of himself and that family and we'll keep this thing on the tracks until he gets back," Elway said.

Coach Fox, 58, will take a leave of absence for at least the next several weeks, the team announced late Saturday night.

“Our family greatly appreciates the overwhelming support and well-wishes we’ve received for John," said Robin Fox, the coach's wife, in a statement provided by the team. "Along with his medical team, we will take great care of him so he can fully recover and get back to coaching the Broncos as soon as possible.” 

Doctors advised Fox months ago that his defective aortic valve would require this procedure following the 2013 season.

During an appointment Thursday, Fox's doctor warned him to get medical attention immediately if he felt any discomfort.

Saturday, Fox reported feeling light-headed while playing golf and was taken to a Charlotte-area hospital.

“Although I am disappointed I must take some time away from the team to attend to this pre-existing health condition, I understand that it’s the right thing to do," Fox said in a statement. “I look forward to returning to coaching as soon as possible."

The Broncos have chosen defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio as the interim head coach, but will also continue to call plays for the defense.

"We're on a mission. We're on a mission to carry on and continue the things that Coach Fox has instilled and started with this Football team."

“Our focus at this time is Coach Fox’s health and well-being, " Broncos officials said.  "We extend our thoughts and well-wishes to him for a full and speedy recovery."

"The concern is with John's health, not only for this season but John's health for the rest of his life," Elway said Monday.

“I sincerely appreciate all of the support from friends, Denver Broncos fans and so many around the league," Fox said.

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