Stroke can’t silence Bears legend Ditka

Legendary Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka, who suffered what was diagnosed as a “minor stroke” on Friday, was released from hospital on Sunday and made a triumphant return to the airwaves when he appeared on ESPN Radio yesterday.

Ditka, 73, said: “I was kinda driving down the highway of life really fast, and I had a flat tyre. (But) I’m okay. You won’t expect those things to happen, and they come up on you... it really opens your eyes. I knew everything that was happening, but I couldn’t do anything about what was happening. I feel pretty good right now — I really do — so I think everything’s going to be okay.”

Ditka suffered the stroke at a suburban Chicago country club on Friday — he said later that he knew something was wrong when he had trouble using his hands correctly and couldn’t speak the way he wanted to. He suffered a heart attack in 1988, but had no known recent heath issues before Friday.

In on-field action, the New England Patriots lost tight end Rob Gronkowski with a broken arm late in Sunday’s 59-24 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, a game in which he caught two touchdown passes.

Gronkowski, 23, had seven catches for 137 yards on Sunday, including touchdowns of four and 24 yards in the game.

Gronkowski was reportedly injured while blocking for an extra point following New England’s eighth touchdown.

The Patriots next play on Thursday (Thanksgiving night) against the New York Jets.

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