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‘Gut feeling’ is Kill will be back on sidelines this weekend

Jerry Kill

Three days after suffering a health scare, all signs continue pointing toward Jerry Kill being on the sidelines when Minnesota takes the field Saturday against Miami (OH).

The Gophers head coach suffered a seizure very late in the fourth quarter of a loss to New Mexico State this past weekend.  He’s been hospitalized since, but university physician Dr. Pat Smith told reporters during a press briefing Monday that his gut feeling is Kill will “absolutely” be coaching against the MAC school.

Smith said Kill has been “alert, eating, not on any IVs” and “undergone extensive testing, both labs and procedures, all of which have been totally normal.”

In quotes distributed by the team, Kill was grateful for the outpouring of support he’s received.

“[Wife] Rebecca and I want to thank everyone for their prayers and concern,” Kill said. “We’ve received great support from friends, fans and colleagues across the state of Minnesota and around the country and I am humbled by all the get-well wishes. I’m feeling better each day and hope to be back with the team soon. Until then, I have full confidence in my coaching staff to prepare our team to play its best this week against Miami.”

Smith gave no indication as to when Kill will be released from the hospital, although based on the physician’s optimism it will come at some point before Saturday.

“As you’d anticipate Coach Kill’s feeling is that he wants to get back on the field,” Dr. Smith said. “We’ve got a little control of him right now and we’re going to make sure we’ve dotted our I’s and crossed our T’s before (his release) happens. Once he leaves the hospital, we don’t have control of him. So, we’re going to make sure … the medication levels are appropriate, that he’s feeling well enough and then encourage him to get back when he feels well. We have hospitalized him more as a precaution to address those issues that we can address now and not let this occur in the future.”

The official diagnosis on Kill’s health issue is benign idiopathic seizure disorder, which Smith describes as “a common problem… [p]eople live normal lifestyles with.”  Kill had previously suffered seizure on at least three occasions while performing football-related duties — in 2001 and 2005 on game day, and then in 2006 while taping a coach’s television show.

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