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Dantonio plans to return for Spartans on Saturday wire reports

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State's Mark Dantonio plans to be in a coaching box above the field Saturday when the No. 24 Spartans face No. 11 Wisconsin, just two weeks after he was hospitalized following a mild heart attack.

Dantonio announced his intentions Tuesday after showing up at the team's weekly news conference.

"I'm going to ease back into this much like anybody would after any injury," Dantonio said. "I'm going to listen to our doctors, but I am going to ease back into this and do something daily with our football team."

The 54-year-old Dantonio was taken to the hospital early Sept. 19, shortly after his daring call for a fake field goal in overtime gave his team a thrilling victory over Notre Dame. Offensive coordinator Don Treadwell took over for one game, Michigan State's 45-7 win over Northern Colorado on Saturday.

The heart attack highlighted the health hazards of coaching. Afterward, many coaches admitted that taking care of themselves can become an afterthought in their high-stress jobs with long hours.

Dantonio's heart attack comes less than a year after Florida's Urban Meyer was hospitalized with chest pains after the Southeastern Conference championship game. Meyer resigned for 24 hours, then decided to take a leave of absence after being diagnosed with esophageal spams.

Dantonio was released from the hospital a week ago and visited the team at practice Friday. He said he was in the office Monday.

Michigan State (4-0) opens Big Ten play Saturday in a matchup of unbeaten teams. Wisconsin (4-0) is coming off a 70-3 win over Austin Peay.

"I think it's very, very important that we focus on Wisconsin -- that the focus go from Mark Dantonio and that night to Wisconsin and what we have to get done this weekend," Dantonio said.

Dantonio said he doesn't plan to be on the field during the game.

"I would expect to be in the box on Saturday," Dantonio said. "That would be my initial plan at this point."

Dantonio watched the Northern Colorado game at home.

"I will say it was a little bit surreal watching the game at home," he said. "I had no chips. I wasn't allowed. It was different. You see your football team, or our football team, playing, and you're not there, and you've been there for four years."

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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