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John Fox to return as Denver Broncos head coach on Monday

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John Fox talks to reporters after the Broncos' 27-21 loss to Atlanta. Sep. 17, 2012

John Fox talks to reporters after the Broncos' 27-21 loss to Atlanta. Sep. 17, 2012

DENVER — Denver Broncos head coach John Fox will return as the team’s leader on Monday, the team announced Thursday.

“John Fox has been cleared by doctors to return as head coach of the Denver Broncos beginning Monday,” the team said in a statement. “We are very pleased that his recovery from a heart procedure on Nov. 4 has progressed so well.”

Fox underwent an aortic valve replacement. Jack Del Rio has led the team in his stead.

“Our organization is confident that (Fox’s) health will allow him to meet his head coaching responsibilities,” the team said. “While no formal restrictions will be placed on his workload upon return, he will continue to be monitored by our medical staff as his well-being remains our No. 1 priority. We look forward to Coach Fox’s return to the team on Monday.”

Fox made a surprise visit to the team at the end of practice Thursday and players gathered around as he addressed them.

Interim head coach Jack Del Rio says Fox, “Talked about how proud he is of what we’re doing and how we’ve got to finish this quarter up right with our trip to Kansas City. [He] talked about all of the focus being on that, and talked about next week being there after this weekend and for us to do nothing but get ourselves ready for the Chiefs this weekend and that’s what we’ll do. But it was great to see Coach Fox.”

“It was exciting. We’ve all missed him,” wide receiver Eric Decker said. “Just his energy and his enthusiasm, it’s good to see him in good health, to finally be in town and celebrate Thanksgiving with his family—to know that he’s coming back next Monday, it was just kind of a rally point for us.”