55°FFog/MistFull Forecast

Ditka ‘not ready to run marathon,’ but feeling good

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012 9:56 a.m. CST

(MCT) — CHICAGO — Former Bears coach Mike Ditka sounded like he was ready for one of his restaurant’s signature pork chops Monday.

“I’m fine, really, I feel good,” said Ditka, who was resting at home after suffering a minor stroke Friday. “I’m not ready to run a marathon or anything, but everything is back to normal.”

Ditka was released from the hospital Sunday and said he has no after-effects from the stroke, which he said occurred in the back left side of his brain. The stroke occurred while he was playing cards.

“I kept dropping the cards,” he said. “I couldn’t talk. Everything was in slow motion. Luckily my friend took me to the hospital.”

He said the incident reminded him of the heart attack he suffered in 1988. “It was very similar,” he said. “I knew something was going on then, and I knew something was happening this time.”

Ditka planned to participate in the “Monday Night Football” broadcast from ESPN’s studios in Chicago on Monday night.

He might even have a new appreciation for the job.

“We have no guarantees,” Ditka said. “I’ve been here 73 years. It’s been a great 73 years. I’ve been blessed. If it ended tomorrow, I have no complains. But we have no control over that. I hope to stick around another 73.”

Get breaking and town-specific news sent to your phone. Sign up for text alerts from the Morris Daily Herald.