New Manly Sea Eagles chief executive Graham Lowe will receive a double heart bypass next week, following his collapse at Auckland airport on Monday as he waited to board a flight to Sydney.
According to Sydney's Daily Telegraph newspaper, the 63-year-old New Zealander urgently requires surgery and will undergo the operation before Christmas.
However, his cardiologist has given him a full medical clearance to continue in the role in 2010, the Manly Daily reported.
"I'm looking at this in a positive way, because I'm lucky the doctors have found this before something bad might have happened," Mr Lowe said.
"It was a process of elimination to find out what happened at the airport and the blood tests have revealed that I need a bit of plumbing."
During a stint as Sea Eagles coach in the early 1990s he also suffered blood clots and a brain haemorrhage.
"It can be alarming news, but I'm not focused on anything else but getting it fixed and going back to work," he said.
The board voted 7-0 to appoint Mr Lowe as CEO last month, a position which had been empty for five months following Grant Mayer's resignation.
Sea Eagles chairman Scott Penn said Mr Lowe would have until February to recover, during which time financial controller Wayne Honeywood would act as chief executive.
Mr Penn said the board had "grilled" Mr Lowe about his medical history during the interview process and were satisfied with his state of health.
According to the Manly Daily, Mr Lowe has signed a draft contract for a two-year appointment.
"Even though the operation is quite intrusive, I'll have no problems whatsoever. I've had it done before, in 1993, and it lasted me 16 years.
"If this one can last me another 16 years at Manly that would be great."
Sourced from: The New Zealand Herald