Carolina Panthers

Jerry Richardson diagnosed with irregular heartbeat

CHARLOTTE -- Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was hospitalized recently but is about to be released after having a device attached to his heart.

The 72-year-old, who has had cardiac problems in the past, is said to be in good condition and is expected to be released from Carolinas Medical Center as soon as today.

Team officials said Richardson felt ill last week and was checked by his doctors. Monday, they inserted a pacemaker defibrillator as a precaution. A statement released by the team said he will "resume a normal schedule in the near future."

The device will help maintain a normal heart rhythm, hopefully correcting an issue which has bothered him for some time.

Just over six years ago, Richardson underwent a quadruple heart bypass surgery, when doctors also noticed a similar problem.

That time, he was checked into CMC after complaining of fever and chills and was treated with antibiotics for an intestinal infection. An irregular heartbeat was detected then, and the bypass surgery was performed Oct. 17, 2002.