Chuck Pagano medically cleared to return

AP

It looks like Chuck Pagano will meet his expectation of returning to work with the Colts on Monday.

The Associated Press reports that Pagano has been given clearance by his doctors to get back to his head coaching duties. Dr. Larry Cripe said Thursday that he has told Pagano that he has no restrictions in terms of resuming his work schedule and that it is totally up to him when he does that.

“Medically, I see no reason he cannot come back when he’s ready to try and come back,” Cripe said. “Coach has done a great job with this, and I trust him.”

Cripe was asked about the possibility that Pagano was pushing himself too hard and said that he would give Pagano the same advice he gives to any other patient.

“Look, if you get pooped out, adjust,” Cripe said.

The Colts play the Chiefs on Sunday and will clinch a playoff spot with a win, which means Pagano will return to a team in a very different place than the one he left in October. They were 1-2 at that point and many thought they would spend a second straight year as one of the league’s worst teams. They’ve gone 8-3 under Bruce Arians, however, and Pagano will likely be on the sideline in a playoff game in a couple of weeks as a result.

It’s been a remarkable story to follow and it will likely make for at least one more emotional moment in Week 17 when Pagano leads his team onto the field against the Texans.