Ditka expected to recover quickly

Updated: November 2, 2003, 1:40 AM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- Former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka underwent hip surgery Saturday and was expected to make a quick recovery after a fall in his home, according to his assistant.

Ditka, who turned 64 on Oct. 18, broke a bone in his right leg near a previous hip replacement. Doctors replaced the hip again on Saturday and fixed the break, Mary Albright said.

Mike Ditka
Mike Ditka, with the Saints, in his last days in the NFL.
"There were no complications with the surgery, he went through it smelling like a rose," she said.

Ditka, a Hall of Fame tight end who played most of his career with the Bears and coached them to victory in the 1986 Super Bowl, already has had both hips replaced -- one of them twice.

Doctors expect him to return home in a few days and resume an active schedule, Albright said.

But Ditka's Restaurant managing partner was uncertain as to exactly when Ditka would leave the hospital.

"Knowing the coach, it's going to be shorter than what they'd normally advise," Gunderson said.

Albright said Ditka was taken by ambulance to Rush Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center after a fall in his Chicago home Friday night. She said hip surgery has become routine for Ditka.

"It'll probably improve his golf game, which he's been crabbing about all week," she joked.

Hospital officials would not discuss Ditka's condition.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press