ST. LOUIS (AP) – Rams coach Mike Martz wants to return to the field after missing the last six games with a heart ailment.

Martz said Tuesday he would ask his doctor for permission to return to his job. The Rams are 3-3 under interim coach Joe Vitt since Martz stepped down in October with endocarditis, a bacterial infection of the lining of the heart.

“This is the best I’ve felt,” Martz told TV station KMOV. “And when you feel this good, you feel like you should be working.”

Martz said he last saw his doctor a week ago, but hasn’t set up an appointment that he hoped would clear him to return.

Martz has made several appearances at Rams Park since stepping down and said he felt much better in recent weeks. Still, the news caught team officials somewhat by surprise.

“Our response is until he is cleared medically, any type of conjecture is premature,” team spokesman Duane Lewis said.

Martz is 56-37 in six seasons with the Rams, leading them to a Super Bowl in 2001 and serving as offensive coordinator for the franchise’s only Super Bowl championship in 1999.

Martz has been in San Diego, where he has a home, but is expected back in St. Louis later this week.

AP-ES-11-29-05 1855EST

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