Jim Harbaugh Undergoes Minor Procedure for Irregular Heartbeat

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 15, 2012

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh was absent from the team's facilities on Thursday to undergo a procedure to treat an irregular heartbeat, according to a report from Taylor Price of 49ers.com.

UPDATE: Friday, Nov. 16 at 12:18 p.m. ET by Ethan Grant

More details are emerging on the minor procedure that Harbaugh underwent on Thursday. As reported by CSNBayArea.com, Harbaugh did in fact stop by the facility before going home for the night after his procedure.  

He was again back in the office on Friday, and we'll hear more from him later in the afternoon. Here's an excerpt from the report:

Harbaugh briefly stopped by the 49ers practice facility on Thursday before going home to rest. He was back at work Friday morning, and he is scheduled to take part in a noon press conference.

Good news for 49ers fans—your coach is ready for a shot at the Bears and is apparently feeling no ill effects from yesterday's hospital visit.

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Friday, Nov. 16 at 9:32 a.m. ET by Ethan Grant

We knew Harbaugh is the ultimate competitor, but apparently he managed to sneak back to the team in time for practice on Thursday. According to ESPN's Ed Werder, Harbaugh actually managed to have surgery and return to practice on the same day.

Sources say that 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh underwent minor heart procedure and actually rejoined team halfway through practice yesterday

— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) November 16, 2012

With an impending showdown with the Chicago Bears on tap for Monday night and his team in need of a big conference win, it's clear Harbaugh is leaving nothing up to chance the rest of the way, even if it means showing up in a hospital gown.

We'll continue to monitor his status heading up until Monday night, but it appears nothing can keep the second-year head coach off the sidelines—not even surgery.

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Thursday, Nov. 15 at 11:31 p.m. ET by Matt Fitzgerald

ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter has the latest on Harbaugh's status, which is great news for Niner fans:

49ers HC Jim Harbaugh made an appearance today at team's training facility and practice before doctors recommended to him to go home.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 16, 2012

The hyper-competitive Harbuagh seems determined to get back to the sideline ahead of Monday night's huge game against the Chicago Bears. His health will obviously take priority, but his presence would be significant especially if starting QB Alex Smith can't play due to a concussion.

---End of Update---

Here is a portion of the official statement from the team:

Coach Harbaugh is not at the facility today under doctor’s orders. He is having a minor procedure done at Stanford Hospital today for an irregular heartbeat. We anticipate that he will be back at the facility tomorrow, but do not have any further information to share at this time.

The good news is that the procedure doesn't sound serious, and the report says that Harbaugh is expected back on Friday. 

However, anytime you are dealing with an issue involving the heart, it is going to raise your eyebrows. Harbaugh is one of the most fiery and animated coaches on the sidelines, so you hope that he is not putting himself at further risk by coming back so soon. 

This has been an injury-plagued week for the 49ers. In addition to Harbaugh's status, quarterback Alex Smith is working his way back from a concussion. 

Harbaugh took over what looked like a sinking 49ers ship two years ago and helped resurrect one of the most storied franchises in the NFL. They finished 13-3 last year, winning the NFC West for the first time since 2002 and making it to the NFC Championship Game for the first time since 1997. 

This season the 49ers lead the NFC West with a 6-2-1 record heading into Monday night's showdown with the 7-2 Chicago Bears


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