As he released the Gophers football coach from the hospital at noon Thursday, Jerry Kill's doctor said the coach could return to work "when he feels up to it."
It didn't take long.
Kill went home, changed clothes and headed straight for Minnesota's football offices, the university said Thursday, and was on the field for the Gophers' practice later that afternoon. Kill, who suffered a seizure on the TCF Bank Stadium sidelines in the final seconds of a 28-21 loss to New Mexico State on Saturday, intends to resume his normal workload Friday.
"I'm pleased to report that Coach Kill has been discharged from care," said Dr. Pat Smith, the Gophers' team physician. "He has no restrictions."
That clears the way for Kill to coach the team again Saturday, when the Gophers, 0-2 so far under Kill's leadership, meet Miami (Ohio). The coach's role has not yet been determined, but he has been brought up to date on the team's preparations and game plan.
Kill addressed the Gophers after practice, the team said, the first contact players have had with their 50-year-old coach since his seizure. According to the university, Kill told them he planned to head home to rest after his five-day hospital stay but will be back at work Friday morning.
Kill has been hospitalized during the football season six times during the past 12 seasons but has never missed a game. He intends to keep that record intact Saturday, offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover said Thursday, as he filled in for the head coach on his weekly radio show.
Limegrover raised the possibility that Kill might coach from the press box, as he did for one game in 2006, after suffering a seizure at Southern Illinois.
"I don't know the logistics about what his doctors will permit as far as being on the field," Limegrover said on KFAN. "Just because he's not on the field doesn't mean he isn't close to the action. It's actually worse when he's up there. He does a lot of tapping on the shoulder, saying, 'How about this?'"
On the sidelines or in the booth, Limegrover said, "Just having him there is a huge emotional lift for us as coaches and the players."
Kill's hospital stay was lengthened by doctors' desire to evaluate the coach's medication, which he has taken daily for several years, in hopes of avoiding future public seizures. The coach had not had a seizure in public since 2006. "While he is [hospitalized], we can control" his activities, Smith joked at a news conference Monday.
Dehydration may have been the trigger to the seizure, which occurred before about 30,000 fans in the stadium and a television audience on BTN, and Smith said the Gophers' medical and training staff will be much more cognizant of Kill's condition on the sidelines from now on.
"I'm going to be his worst enemy," Smith said. "We will have measures in place to address that issue. But that's easy to do."