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Broncos' head coach Fox likely to have heart surgery, sidelined

ESPN reports John Fox could be sidelined for as much as two months

FILE - This Sept. 17, 2012 file photo shows Denver Broncos head coach John Fox gesturing while speaking to officials during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, in Atlanta. The numbers say there isn't much difference between NFL games worked by the regular officials and the ones being worked this season by their replacements. Comments from players and coaches say otherwise. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, FIle)

FILE - This Sept. 17, 2012 file photo shows Denver Broncos head coach John Fox gesturing while speaking to officials during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, in Atlanta. The numbers say there isn't much difference between NFL games worked by the regular officials and the ones being worked this season by their replacements. Comments from players and coaches say otherwise. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, FIle)

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FILE - In this March 9, 2012 file photo, NFL football quarterback Peyton Manning, center, takes a tour with executive vice president of football operations for the Denver Broncos John Elway, left, and Broncos coach John Fox, rear right, at the Broncos' training facility in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, John Leyba) MAGS OUT; TV OUT

Denver Broncos head coach John Fox will likely undergo surgery to repair a defective heart valve in the coming days, and he could be sidelined for as much as two months, an unnamed team official said, according to ESPN.com and other media outlets.

Fox was hospitalized early Saturday after a bout of lightheadedness while playing golf in Charlotte, N.C. He will remain hospitalized Sunday, when additional tests are expected to be performed according to another unnamed source.

Fox will likely need one of two types of surgeries. With recovery, the first could keep him away from the team for as much as two months. The second surgery is less serious and he could return sooner.

However, Fox is believed to have a case that is not one that should be risked, meaning surgery is likely.

Fox was apparently aware of his condition before Saturday and reportedly had planned on delaying any surgery until after this season. But his dizzy spell Saturday likely pushed things up beyond his control.

While sidelined, Fox, 58, will likely have his coaching duties and responsibilities shared by offensive coordinator Adam Gase and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio.

In a text message to ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen. Fox said, "I am doing fine. We are just running some tests, will know more in a few hours."

Initial reports indicated Fox may have suffered a heart attack on the golf course, but Broncos executive director of media relations Patrick Smyth tweeted that was not the case.

The Broncos (7-1) are on their bye weekend and play next on Nov. 10 against the San Diego Chargers.

Fox is 28-12 in 2 1/2 seasons with the Broncos, who have won the AFC West title in each of his first two seasons at the helm.