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Walker feeling better, but heart muscle inflamed

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern coach Randy Walker has an
inflammation of the heart muscle and was hospitalized for a second
day Tuesday. He could be released as early as Wednesday.

"I'm doing much better than I was 24 hours ago," Walker said
Tuesday. "I was in a lot of pain initially, but for the most part,
that has completely subsided. Yesterday afternoon was definitely a
little shaky."

Walker checked himself into Evanston Northwestern Hospital on
Monday after experiencing chest pains before his weekly news
conference. Tests showed the 50-year-old's heart is fine, but they
also revealed the inflammation, known as myocarditis.

Doctors are still trying to determine what caused the disease,
school spokesman Mike Wolf said. Myocarditis is not a common
ailment, and it's usually caused by a virus. According to the
American Heart Association, treatment can include anti-inflammatory
drugs and antibiotics.

Northwestern (3-4, 2-2 Big Ten) hosts Purdue (No. 19 ESPN/USA Today, No. 17 AP) on Saturday,
and Walker said he doesn't know yet if he'll be on the sidelines.
He knows he will have to limit his activity somewhat, but doctors
haven't said how much.

Walker said the team's game plan for Purdue was already in place
when he was hospitalized. Jerry Brown, Northwestern's assistant
head coach, has taken over most of the administrative duties in
Walker's absence, while coordinators Mike Dunbar (offense) and Greg
Colby (defense) are handling things on-field.

"Needless to say, I'm anxious to get back to coaching
football," Walker said. "I understand the importance of preparing
a football team for a game each week, but I also value my health
and well-being. I have a strong feeling that my wife, Tammy, will
make sure I'm following the doctors' orders."