UConn coach Jim Calhoun will take an indefinite medical leave of absence to deal with worsening spinal stenosis, the UConn athletic department said Friday.
Calhoun’s lower back has been an issue since the summer, according to a UConn official. Calhoun apparently considered surgery during his three-game suspension. The UConn spokesperson said Calhoun was unsure if he’d get surgery any time soon.
“Last summer, Jim had some significant back pain and has seen two excellent back specialists,” said Dr. Peter Schulman, Calhoun’s primary physician. “The initial approach recommended to him was stretching, physical therapy and exercise, and that was successful for several months. It turns out that there is some degenerative problem in the lumbar vertebrae and it’s impinging on the nerves. It has led to significant back pain and some symptoms in his lower extremities.”
“Jim has been able to manage it with the physical therapy and stretching, but over the last several days, things have become worse and he is not able to deal with this on a day to day basis, so other options need to be considered. Right now, he is physically unable to coach.”
Associate head coach George Blaney will coach the team in Calhoun’s absence.
Also, in case you don’t know much about spinal stenosis (you’re not alone), here’s some info on the condition.