NFL

49ers' Harbaugh has heart procedure

Image: San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh (© Mark J. Rebilas/US Presswire)
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh led San Francisco to the playoffs in his first season.
Share This Story

   
 

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP)

San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was sent to the hospital Thursday for a ''minor procedure'' after doctors discovered he had an irregular heartbeat.

49ers at a glance

 
San Francisco 49ers
Looking for more dirt on the 49ers? Get the inside slant, stats, scores, schedules and more scoops right here.
 

The team said it anticipates Harbaugh will be back at the 49ers facility Friday, though it's unclear in what capacity. No details about the procedure were given.

The NFC West-leading 49ers (6-2-1) host the NFC-North leading Chicago Bears (7-2) on Monday night at Candlestick Park.

''It's one of those things that, like Coach Harbaugh always tells us, he's tougher than a $2 steak,'' 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis said. ''We know he's going to be alright. We know we have a bunch of great coaches here that keep everything on track, and we're going to practice today as if he was here.''

Team spokesman Bob Lange said no incident had occurred at the facility. Instead, Harbaugh had visited with doctors Wednesday night after feeling ill, and they advised him to have the procedure done at Stanford Hospital.

Players were informed of Harbaugh's hospitalization by assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Brad Seely during Thursday morning's walkthrough. Seely also oversaw team meetings and the afternoon practice.

Players said the news caught them by surprise.

''He was pretty good. We were slapping hands and talking yesterday,'' 49ers safety Dashon Goldson said of Harbaugh. ''I didn't see anything. He showed no emotions. He didn't show anything like that.''

Added Willis: ''He seemed fine to me. He actually sat right behind me in meetings,'' Willis said. ''He seemed fine. I didn't know anything was wrong. But like I said, we know he's going to be alright.''

NEED SOME? GET SOME

Feed your NFL addiction! Come feast on all the news in our updating blog.

Suddenly, quarterback Alex Smith's recovery from a concussion is San Francisco's second-biggest injury concern.

The 48-year-old Harbaugh won NFL Coach of the Year in his first season with the 49ers after coming over from Stanford, where he had engineered a Cardinal resurgence. The always intense coach's impact was immediately felt up the road in San Francisco.

Harbaugh led San Francisco to a 13-3 record in the regular season and back to the playoffs for the first time since the 2001-02 season. The 49ers lost in overtime to the New York Giants in the NFC championship game.

Harbaugh and his wife, Sarah, welcomed their first son Sept. 4 - and Harbaugh didn't even have to miss a full practice, just an afternoon walk-through. Jack Jr., named after Harbaugh's father, was the couple's third child, joining two big sisters, Addison and Katherine.

San Francisco scout team safety Michael Thomas starred at Stanford under Harbaugh and has known the coach since Thomas was a 17-year-old recruit from Houston. He said he has seen Harbaugh - whom he calls a mentor and friend - exhaust himself for years but never imagined his health could be in jeopardy.

Thomas sent Harbaugh a text to wish him well - and not to hurry back until he's healthy.

''In his mind, he's serious, like I never get sick, I never take a day off, blah, blah, blah,'' Thomas said. ''To actually see something like this happen to a man who's so passionate about his job and about this team, to see him be taken away, you wish him well but you know it's just killing him not being here.''

Tagged: Michael Thomas, Patrick Willis, 49ers

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NFL Videos

Best Person in Sports: Keenan Lewis Posted: Jul 15, 2014
Saints CB Keenan Lewis hosts a back-to-school event, giving children medical ser...

NFL Roundtable: New York Jets Posted: Jul 14, 2014
They're a team with plenty to prove and a roster of players primed to get it don...

NFL Roundtable: Detroit Lions Posted: Jul 11, 2014
A team with so many weapons, is this the season that the Lions put together and ...

More Than Sports on MSN