BREAKING NEWS: Calhoun Taking Medical Leave

Connecticut has announced that basketball coach Jim Calhoun will take an indefinite medical leave of absence because of a worsening back condition. Calhoun coached Wednesday night at Georgetown but did not come into the office Thursday morning.

Calhoun, who missed three games earlier this season because of an NCAA suspension, will not coach Saturday at home against Seton Hall or Monday at Louisville. His condition will be re-evaluated later.

We will update this story after UConn practice later this afternoon.

Here's the release sent out by UConn just before 2 p.m. Friday.

STORRS (February 3, 2010) --- University of Connecticut men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun will take an indefinite medical leave of absence, effective immediately, to deal with worsening spinal stenosis, a lower back condition that causes him severe pain and hampers mobility.

Calhoun will not coach Saturday's game against Seton Hall nor Monday's game at Louisville and his condition will be evaluated on a daily basis as options for treatment are explored. Associate head coach George Blaney will be in charge of the team in Calhoun's absence.

According to Dr. Peter Schulman of the UConn Health Center, Calhoun's primary health care physician, stenosis is a condition that the UConn coach has been coping with for the last few months.

"Last summer, Jim had some significant back pain and has seen two excellent back specialists," Schulman said. "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."

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