Originally posted on Helmet2Helmet  |  Last updated 12/24/12

On a day when they clinched a playoff berth behind their record-setting quarterback, the Colts were rewarded with the best possible news.

The return of Chuck.

According to the Indianapolis Star, head coach Chuck Pagano is expected to resume coaching duties on Monday. Pagano, who's spent the last three months battling leukemia, will address his players at 10 a.m.

And they couldn't be happier.

“It’s hard to imagine what it will be like,” guard Joe Reitz said. “When everything happened to Chuck, B.A.’s message all along was, ‘Let’s extend the season for Chuck.

“That’s what we did today. You can’t ask for a better Christmas present than to go on the road, get a victory, get ourselves in the dance.”

The team has issued a media schedule for a 12:15 p.m. news conference. It included only two words: "Coach Available."

Interim coach Bruce Arians confirmed that Pagano will return "full bore." He'll be on the sideline for the regular season finale against the Texans and in the postseason. The Colts on Sunday wrapped up a wildcard spot, the AFC's fifth seed.

“We’ve been winning all these games for us,” Colts safety Antoine Bethea said, “but most definitely for Chuck as well.”

Following a dismal 2-14 season in 2011, the Colts have been one of the biggest feel-good stories in sports this year. Andrew Luck has led them to seven fourth-quarter comebacks -- mostly in dramatic fashion -- to complete an improbable, almost Cinderella-like turnaround for the franchise.

The CHUCKSTRONG campaign has proved to be the ultimate example of team unity, paying dividends in ways that few -- if any -- thought possible.

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