Michigan coach Juwan Howard cleared to resume regular duties for matchup with Eastern Michigan

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan basketball coach Juwan Howard will be back on the job Saturday for the Wolverines’ game against Eastern Michigan.

Howard has been building up to his regular duties since he had heart surgery Sept. 15 that successfully resected an aortic aneurysm and repaired his aortic valve.

The 50-year-old Howard was on the bench as an observer for a 71-67 loss to Memphis in the Battle 4 Atlantis on Nov. 22. He served as an assistant to acting head coach Phil Martelli during an 86-83 loss at Oregon on Dec. 2.

The matchup with Eastern Michigan will be Howard’s first game as head coach since his surgery.

“Coach Howard, his doctors and our medical experts remain aligned in taking this next step as he recovers from a September heart procedure,” athletic director Warde Manuel said Friday night in a release.

“We greatly appreciate associate head coach Phil Martelli’s guidance of our program on an interim basis to start the season. I want to personally thank Phil for what he has done in the past few months to lead the program. We will continue to benefit from his wisdom moving forward.”

The Wolverines are 5-5.

The resumption of the normal coaching structure for the program comes after the school reviewed what it called “an incident involving several individuals during a team practice last week.”

“Based on a thorough internal review, nothing was found to warrant disciplinary action for anyone involved,” Manuel said in his release. “As such, we will move forward with a focus on our team and our season.”

No further details on the incident were provided in the release.

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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball

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