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Indianapolis Colts await coach Chuck Pagano's return

There's a feeling around the Indianapolis Colts' organization that Chuck Pagano's return is imminent.

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Pagano has been medically cleared to return to the team, his physician, Dr. Larry Cripe, told The Associated Press.

Mike Chappell of The Indianapolis Star believes Pagano will return Monday, one day after the Colts (9-5) try to wrap up an AFC playoff berth against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Interim coach Bruce Arians also hinted that Pagano, who's in remission after being diagnosed with leukemia in September, could take over in time for the Colts' Week 17 finale against the Houston Texans.

"Hopefully we can get this victory and secure our playoff spot and turn it back over to Chuck," Arians said this week.

"It will be great," rookie quarterback Andrew Luck said. "I'm sure it will be emotional for a lot of people. But when it comes, and hopefully soon, it'll be very nice to sort of have our head coach back."

The Colts have thrived under Arians, but the offensive coordinator-turned-commander has done this for his friend. It's easy to forget this team was prophesized by many as a two- or three-win outfit that would, if nothing else, struggle.

Instead, the Colts have overcome it.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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