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Appearing on Bloomberg Radio on Saturday, Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob said coach Steve Kerr underwent a procedure to address the complications resulting from his back surgery two years ago, and the team is holding out hope the 2016 Coach of the Year can return “sooner rather than later.”
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne first reported on Friday that Kerr was seeking treatment at Duke University Medical Center for the ailment that’s kept him from the sidelines since Game 2 of Golden State’s first-round sweep, citing sources who consider him “very unlikely” to return in the second round as well.
Lacob said Kerr had already undergone a procedure to address “a spinal cord leak” on Friday:
“Hopefully it was solved yesterday — he had another procedure — but it’s gone on for nearly two years,” Lacob told Bloomberg Radio on Saturday. “Very unusual, I believe. I have a medical background, so I know a little about this, but I’ve never really heard of anybody having this problem for this long, and we feel really bad for him.
“Everybody understands that we just have to be in his court here and support whatever it takes for him to get back, and I’m sure they will eventually solve it, hopefully sooner rather than later, and hopefully we’ll have him on the court coaching sooner rather than later.”
Lacob indicated the corrective procedure could prove beneficial as soon as “a week or a month”:
“Steve is one of the greatest people ever,” added Lacob. “He’s an amazing guy, he’s incredibly start, he’s brought incredible success to us, and it’s very unfortunate what’s happening here. He had a back surgery, a relatively common procedure, almost two years ago now and had what is really an uncommon thing happen, which is the dura around the spinal cord got nicked, and you wind up getting a spinal cord leak and ultimately headaches and other symptoms — bad headaches, migraines.
“Unfortunately, they usually patch that with a blood patch, and it’s over, either in a week or a month or whatever, and in his case for whatever reason they just haven’t been able to solve that problem.”
It’s important to note the Warriors are still going about their business as if Kerr is not returning anytime soon and assistant Mike Brown will continue coach the team for the remainder of the Jazz series. Here’s Warriors general manager Bob Myers to The Mercury News’ Tim Kawakami on Friday:
“I said this to the team, we all have to kind of decide how to process that part ourselves,” Myers said. “Because he still could–I don’t want to mislead people–but the possibility of him coming back still exists.
“But that is different than relying on it. You can have that optimism, we all can have that hope. But reliance on it, I think, is something nobody’s doing at this point. Nor should they.
“We’re kind of going series by series on that,” Myers said. “So that question we haven’t really hit head on or directly. We understand that’s a possibility, but as far as thinking like that, we haven’t gotten there.”
The San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday that Kerr would not be traveling to Utah for Games 3 and 4 of the second round, but this latest procedure at least gives the Warriors hope that their coach could return for a potential Western Conference finals or NBA Finals series in the coming weeks.
And even if he doesn’t, there’s reason to believe Kerr will one day no longer be suffering from the back pain that’s plagued him for years, and that’s welcome news for one of the game’s best coaches.
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