Broncos' Fox to have heart valve replaced

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Updated: 11/04/2013 3:01 pm

Englewood, CO ( - Denver Broncos coach John Fox will have an aortic heart valve replacement and will miss "at least the next several weeks" of the season, the team said Saturday night.

Fox was taken by ambulance to a Charlotte, N.C.-area hospital earlier Saturday after complaining of lightheadedness during a golf outing, according to the Broncos.

The team said Fox was advised months ago by doctors that he would need to have his aortic valve replaced after the season. Fox was in North Carolina during Denver's bye week and had a preoperative appointment scheduled for Thursday.

"Coach Fox began feeling lightheaded while golfing with friends. He was taken to a hospital, where testing revealed he needed to have this procedure as soon as possible," the team said in a statement.

The Broncos said they would announce an interim head coach as soon as they decide on one.

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

"I have great confidence in our coaches and players, who are fully committed to our goals. I look forward to returning to coaching as soon as possible."

Fox, 58, spent nine seasons as the head coach of the Carolina Panthers, who didn't renew his contract following the 2010 season.

He was hired by the Broncos in January 2011 and guided Denver to a 13-3 record and the top seed in the AFC playoffs during his second season at the helm.

Denver has gotten off to a 7-1 start in 2013 and currently sits a game back of undefeated Kansas City in the AFC West standings.

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