As he roamed the football sidelines pregame the past two weeks, it didn’t appear that there was anything wrong with Michigan basketball head coach Juwan Howard. But, there were some underlying issues behind the scenes.
On Friday, according to a press release by a team spokesman, Howard underwent a heart procedure repairing his aortic valve in his heart, which will take him 12 weeks to recover from and preclude him from basketball activities for at least four weeks. Michigan assistant Phil Martelli will oversee the team in the interim as the basketball team continues strength and conditioning and eventually starts training camp in earnest to prepare for the 2023-24 season.
You can read the full release below, including a quote from Howard himself.
David and Meredith Kaplan University of Michigan basketball coach Juwan Howard underwent a successful heart procedure today (Friday, Sept. 15) at the University of Michigan Health Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center.
The scheduled operation was performed by Dr. Himanshu Patel, who successfully resected an aortic aneurysm and repaired Howard’s aortic valve. Patel indicated that Howard is expected to fully recover in six to 12 weeks and could return to the program in four to six weeks.
U-M’s associate head coach Phil Martelli will serve as the interim head coach during Howard’s recovery process. Saddi Washington and Howard Eisley will maintain their assistant roles, while Jay Smith will be elevated to the third assistant during the interim period.
“I feel so grateful and blessed that this surgery was performed at University of Michigan Health,” said Howard. “My wife, Jenine, and our family appreciate the world-class care that has been provided to us. Dr. (Kim) Eagle, Dr. (Himanshu) 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.”
“We are extremely grateful Juwan’s proactive procedure was a success and that he is resting comfortably,” said Warde Manuel, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. “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.”
Following a routine medical check, Howard’s conditions were identified, and the surgical procedures were scheduled as soon as possible to allow him to return completely for the upcoming 2023-24 season.