Just days after a stroke he suffered last Friday, Hall of Famer and former Bears coach Mike Ditka is picking himself up and getting back in the game.
"I’m fine, really, I feel good,” Ditka, 73, told the Tribune. “I’m not ready to run a marathon or anything, but everything is back to normal.”
Monday night, the legendary coach was downtown, hanging out at his namesake eatery, Ditka's Restaurant.
"Now it's called 'Rusty Mike's,'" Ditka joked to WGN of his "Iron Mike" nickname. “You know, some times we think we’re invincible...not so.”
“I’ve got to slow down a little bit," Ditka added.
"I don't think that's what caused it, I'll be honest with you," Ditka told WGN. "Don't know what it was, but that wasn't it--not my stress. That wasn't it."
Ditka was playing cards when he suffered the stroke Friday and was kept in the hospital for observation until Sunday. By the end of the weekend, however, NBC Sports reported Ditka was ready to get back to work as an ESPN analyst and hardly considered the minor stroke a life-altering event.
“I was kind of driving down the highway of life really fast, and I had a flat tire,” Ditka said to NBC Sports. “I’m OK. You don’t expect those things to happen, but they come up on you.”
Ditka suffered a heart attack in 1988 when he was 49 and returned to work less than two weeks later. The Sun-Times' Michael Sneed brought up a past conversation with Ditka's wife, Diana, who at the time spoke of the effects Ditka's years as a gridiron player have had on his body.
“I think Mike just has a hard head, so it probably has not affected him yet. But he has a lot of aches and pains from football," said Diana Ditka told Sneed. "But it hasn’t affected Mike’s memory or anything like that...when he can’t remember where he lives, I’ll let you know.”