Steve Kerr set to return to coach Warriors

Yahoo Sports
Steve Kerr during the Warriors' ring ceremony in October. (Getty)
Steve Kerr during the Warriors' ring ceremony in October. (Getty)

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr will return to coach the team for the first time this season against the Indiana Pacers on Friday night after undergoing two offseason back surgeries.

Kerr had surgery to repair a ruptured disc in late July, a follow-up procedure in early September and was hampered by severe headaches as he recovered. He opted to take a leave of absence Oct. 1 as Warriors training camp was beginning.

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“As a friend, I am thrilled he’s back. It’s been an arduous road for him,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers told Yahoo Sports about Kerr.

Optimism grew that Kerr would return to the bench after he attended the Warriors’ two-game road trip to Cleveland and Chicago this week.

Golden State went an NBA-best 39-4, the second-best start in league history, under the direction of interim head coach Luke Walton.

"I thought maybe he’d be 40-3. But 39-4, I’ll have to settle for that," Kerr told reporters at shootaround Friday morning.

Walton was named the NBA Coach of the Month for November. The second-year Warriors assistant led the team to a 24-0 start, which is the best start to a season for any American professional sports team. Kerr led the Warriors to a franchise-record 67 wins and an NBA championship last season and will receive credit for the Warriors’ victories under Walton.

"I know these last seven months have been very tough for [Kerr], and It's good to see him back doing what he loves," Warriors forward Draymond Green told Yahoo Sports. "Luke did a phenomenal job holding the fort down, and it's great to see him get the opportunity he did. Now I have to enjoy these next four and a half months with [Walton] because I know every GM is going to be beating his door down at season's end."

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