Sanders will attend next debate despite pause after heart procedure, campaign says

Sen. Bernie Sanders is off the campaign trail as the Democratic presidential candidate recovers from a procedure to clear a clogged artery – but the independent senator from Vermont’s campaign confirmed to Fox News on Thursday that Sanders will take the stage at the upcoming Oct. 15 presidential primary date.

The 78-year-old Sanders’ appearance at the fourth round debate was in question after top aides announced on Wednesday that the White House contender underwent a heart procedure a day earlier after experiencing chest discomfort a day earlier during a campaign event.

12 TO FACE OFF: STAGE SET FOR RECORD-SETTING DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY DEBATE

The campaign said on Wednesday that Sanders would stay off the campaign trail “until further notice.”

But the candidate's wife Jane Sanders highlighted in a statement on Thursday that "we expect Bernie will be discharged and on a plane back to Burlington before the end of the weekend. He'll take a few days to rest, but he's ready to get back out there and is looking forward to the October debate.”

She noted that "Bernie is up and about. Yesterday, he spent much of the day talking with staff about policies, cracking jokes with the nurses and doctors, and speaking with his family on the phone.  His doctors are pleased with his progress, and there has been no need for any additional procedures."

Twelve candidates have qualified for the Oct. 15 debate, which will be held at Otterbein University, a liberal arts institution in Westerville, Ohio. The Democratic National Committee’s media partners for the showdown are CNN and The New York Times.

Sanders officials confirmed to Fox News on Wednesday that they’ve postponed running their first TV commercial of the campaign. The spot in Iowa was supposed to hit airwaves in the first caucus state starting on Thursday. The campaign announced the $1.3 million ad buy earlier in the week.

But a senior campaign official told Fox News that overall, “campaign operations are continuing as usual” while the senator is sidelined.