John Fox released from hospital

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Four days after undergoing open-heart surgery, Denver Broncos coach John Fox was discharged from a Charlotte, N.C., area hospital Friday, a this-just-in bulletin interim coach Jack Del Rio shared with the players following practice.

"Great news today: Coach Fox was released out of the hospital,'' Del Rio said after the workout. "And I know he's excited to get out, that he's one step closer to getting back with us.''

Fox also released a statement, providing an update on his condition:

"My recovery is progressing well -- I am feeling better and getting stronger each day. I will begin the next phase of my recovery in Charlotte and continue outpatient appointments with doctors, who will clear me to return to Denver when the time is right. Although I'm eager to return to coaching, my No. 1 focus is my health. I believe in our players and have full confidence in Jack Del Rio and our staff."

Del Rio, knowing Fox's affinity for his cellphone and for not usually sitting still, added with a smile; "I'm not sure [wife] Robin is as excited, but it's obviously great news.''

Asked if Fox, who still has a home in the Charlotte area after being Panthers coach for nine seasons, had any restrictions at this point about how much interaction he could have with the team, Del Rio said: "I really don't know about a lot of that other than he obviously went through quite a bit and he's on the road to recovery.

"The first step is getting out of that hospital. That's a big one for him and I'm sure he's glad to be at home resting and recovering, and he'll join us as soon as he can.'"

Del Rio added he now expected to talk to Fox "almost on a daily basis," even though Fox is not yet able to travel to Denver.

Fox is on leave of absence after experiencing dizziness and light-headedness during a round of golf Saturday. After being taken to a hospital for a battery of tests, doctors scheduled Fox's surgery to replace his aortic valve for Monday. Fox is expected to miss as much as 10 weeks during his recovery.