Mike Ditka Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

Darin PikeContributor INovember 17, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01:  Former NFL player and coach and current ESPN analyst Mike Ditka prepares to ring the closing bell at the NASDAQ Marketsite on November 1, 2011 in New York City. NASDAQ OMX and Wall Street Journal CMO Summit participants gathered to ring today's closing bell.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Mike Ditka, ESPN NFL analyst and former Super Bowl-winning head coach and Pro Bowl tight end for the Chicago Bears, suffered a minor stroke on Friday and remains hospitalized, according to ESPN.

UPDATE: Monday, November 19 at 1:00 p.m. ET by Alex Kay

Ditka is out of the hospital and seems to be recovering smoothly from his minor stroke, which is evident as it's being reported that he's returning to work Monday night.

According to Bill Hofheimer of ESPN, the legendary Bears coach and TE is going to be in the studio for the World Wide Leader's NFL Countdown program prior to Monday Night Football. 

Mike Ditka will be on @espnnfl Countdown tonite from Chicago. Like a stroke was going to keep him away from #CHIvsSF. No chance.

— bill hofheimer (@bhofheimer_espn) November 19, 2012

Considering his beloved Bears are taking on the San Francisco 49ers in tonight's contest, it's not a shock to see Ditka back in action.

We are wishing Da former Bears coach and football analyst a safe and healthy recovery, and look forward to seeing him back on television later this evening.


UPDATE: Sunday, November 18 at 1:35 p.m. ET by Patrick Clarke

Mike Ditka was released from the hospital on Sunday after suffering a minor stroke on Friday according to a report by ESPN.com via The Associated Press:

Ditka's agent, Steve Mandell, told ESPNChicago.com that the legendary coach is home after receiving a clean bill of health from doctors. Mandell said Ditka plans on hosting his radio program, "The Mike Ditka Show," on Tuesday on ESPN 1000. - via ESPN.com

---End of Update---


The 73-year-old legend will miss this weekend's football coverage but expects to be back at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn., soon, as relayed by Seth Markman, an ESPN senior coordinating producer:

Coach Ditka is going to be fine. He did suffer a minor stroke tonight. Won't be on the shows this wknd. He wanted everyone to know he's ok

— Seth Markman (@tunasweasel) November 17, 2012

Ditka spoke with Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune on Friday night, saying, "I feel good right now and it's not a big deal."

Ditka was playing cards at a country club in suburban Chicago Friday night when he began having problems using his hands, followed by speech difficulties.

Ditka was a five-time Pro Bowl tight end with the Bears from 1961-1966. He was hired as their head coach in 1982.

Chicago won the Super Bowl in 1985, earning Ditka the first of two AP Coach of the Year Awards. 

Ditka hasn't had major health issues since his heart attack in 1988, per Pompei.


Darin Pike is a writer for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team and a Featured Columnist covering the NFL and the Seattle Seahawks.