Jeff Borzello, ESPN Staff WriterSep 15, 2023, 04:24 PM ET
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Michigan coach Juwan Howard underwent a successful heart procedure Friday, the school announced.
Howard had a scheduled operation to resect an aortic aneurysm and repair an aortic valve, conditions identified during a routine medical check earlier this offseason.
Dr. Himanshu Patel, who performed the operation, said Howard is expected to fully recover in six to 12 weeks and could return to the program in four to six weeks.
“I feel so grateful and blessed that this surgery was performed at University of Michigan Health,” Howard said in a statement. “My wife, Jenine, and our family appreciate the world-class care that has been provided to us. Dr. [Kim] Eagle, Dr. Patel, Dr. [Stanley] Chetcuti, and all of the staff at the Frankel Cardiovascular Center are so talented and performed like champions throughout this process. I am going to work very hard in my rehabilitation to be stronger than ever by the time our upcoming season is upon us.”
Associate head coach Phil Martelli will serve as the Wolverines’ interim head coach during Howard’s absence. Martelli spent 24 seasons as the head coach at Saint Joseph’s, making seven NCAA tournament appearances, including an Elite Eight run in 2004. He was fired in 2019 and joined Howard’s staff four months later.
“We are extremely grateful Juwan’s proactive procedure was a success and that he is resting comfortably,” athletic director Warde Manuel said in a statement. “We will continue to support Juwan, Jenine and his family as well as the program throughout his absence. All of us at the athletic department have Juwan in our thoughts and prayers. We look forward to Juwan’s return when he feels that he has fully recovered.”
Michigan opens the 2023-24 regular season at home against UNC Asheville on Nov. 7.