The heart defect doctors detected in Arizona Cardinals assistant coach Freddie Kitchens was more than career threatening. It was life threatening.
That's why Kitchens' return to work this week, just 48 days after he underwent surgery to repair a defective aorta, should provide a big lift for the team.
"Freddie is doing great," Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said during an interview Monday. "Doctors have cleared him to come to work. It's amazing. He hit a hurdle last week and cleared it. He really looks good, sounds good and he's on a treadmill two or three times a day."
Kitchens, 38, was stricken with chest pain during a June 4 practice.
Arians, made available Monday via an NFL/Gatorade "Beat the Heat" program, said Kitchens will be on the field for most training camp practices, but not when the team practices outdoors early in camp. Moving training camp from Northern Arizona University's 7,000-foot elevation into the temperature-controlled stadium in Glendale should help Kitchens' assimilation, Arians said.
Kitchens will not be on the field when the team practices outdoors early in camp.