Walker performs limited duties

Updated: October 27, 2004, 11:12 PM ET
Associated Press

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern football coach Randy Walker was back at practice Wednesday after spending two days in the hospital because of an inflammation of the heart muscle.

Walker, released from Evanston Northwestern Hospital early Wednesday afternoon, arrived on campus a short time later. He held a team meeting and performed limited duties at practice, spokesman Mike Wolf said.

Walker, 50, checked himself into the hospital on Monday after experiencing chest pains before his weekly news conference. Tests showed that his heart is fine, but they also revealed the inflammation, known as myocarditis.

Doctors are still trying to determine what caused the disease, Wolf said. Myocarditis is not a common ailment, and it's usually caused by a virus.

Northwestern (3-4, 2-2 Big Ten) hosts Purdue (No. 19 ESPN/USA Today, No. 17 AP) on Saturday, and Walker's doctors think he will be well enough to be at the game.

"If he continues to progress ... we expect he will be there Saturday, most likely on the sidelines," Wolf said.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press