Former Panthers coach John Fox to undergo heart valve replacement surgery



CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Denver Broncos have confirmed that head coach John Fox will undergo an aortic heart valve replacement early next week in Charlotte and could be out "at least the next several weeks."

The team released a statement Saturday night saying, "Our focus at this time is Coach Fox’s health and well-being. We extend our thoughts and well-wishes to him for a full and speedy recovery."

“Coach Fox was advised by doctors months ago that his defective aortic valve would require this procedure following the 2013 season. As part of his trip to North Carolina over the bye week, he had a preoperative appointment on Thursday with his doctor, who informed him to seek medical attention immediately if he felt any discomfort," the team's statement read.

Fox released a statement as well on the team's website.

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

On Saturday, officials said Fox was taken to the hospital after feeling light-headed while on the golf course at Quail Hollow.

The Broncos are 7-1 in the AFC West, one game behind the Kansas City Chiefs (8-0), who is the only undefeated team left in the NFL.

Fox, who coached the Panthers from 2002-2012, has a home in Charlotte, and was in town due to the Broncos bye week.

In 2003, a Fox-led Panthers team lost Super Bowl XXXVIII 32-29 to the New England Patriots on a last-second field goal.