The San Francisco 49ers began on-field preparations for Monday night's game against the Chicago Bears without head coach Jim Harbaugh, who underwent surgery at Stanford Hospital for an irregular heartbeat on Thursday, the club announced.
"Coach Harbaugh is not at the facility today under doctor's orders. He is having a minor procedure done at Stanford Hospital today for an irregular heartbeat. We anticipate that he will be back at the facility tomorrow, but do not have any further information to share at this time. "
Special teams coach Brad Seely, who also carries the title of assistant head coach, ran the team's practice on Thursday and would be the interim coach if Harbaugh is not able to return to the sidelines for the Bears game.
According to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, the 48-year-old Harbaugh began feeling ill at his home on Wednesday evening and went to nearby Stanford Hospital.
"We didn't even know he was having that done until just a second ago," [49ers linebacker and team captain Patrick] Willis said.
"Coach Harbaugh, like he always tells us, he's tougher than a two-dollar steak," Willis said. "We know he's going to be alright. We've got a bunch or great coaches here that are going to keep everything on track, and we're going to practice today as if he was here."
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, the former head coach at USC who was Pac-10 rivals with Harbaugh, who coached at Stanford, expressed his well wishes on Twitter. The Seahawks host the 49ers on Dec. 23, the same day Harbaugh turns 49.
Sending out best wishes to Jim Harbaugh for a quick recovery... Get well soon, we gotta alotta ball games left!
— Pete Carroll (@PeteCarroll) November 15, 2012