Surgery For Calhoun

Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun has decided to have surgery on Monday in an attempt to relieve the pain being caused by his spinal stenosis and he will miss at least two more games, UConn announced Wednesday afternoon.

That means Calhoun will not coach against Syracuse on Saturday or Tuesday at Providence. If the surgical procedure is successful and his recovery goes smoothly, his status will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis. Calhoun and UConn have not ruled out a return for the final regular season game against Pittsburgh on March 3 at Gampel Pavilion.

The Big East tournament begins in New York on March 6.

"I'm glad we have finally determined the best course of treatment to deal with the problem," Calhoun said. "I'm looking forward to having the procedure done, hopefully recovering as quickly as possible, and putting it all in the past."

According to the UConn release, Calhoun is expected to be hospitalized one or two nights and then begin a recovery period at home. Calhoun, 69, has missed six games since announcing his indefinite medical leave of absence on Feb. 3. He has not coached the Huskies (17-10, 7-8 Big East) since a 58-44 loss at Georgetown on Feb. 1.

Associate head coach George Blaney, 72, will continue to be in charge of the team in Calhoun's absence. Blaney also took over for the first three Big East regular season games this season when Calhoun was serving a three-game suspension handed down by the NCAA as part of the penalties for recruiting violations.

UConn is 5-4 in games – all Big East games - coached by Blaney this season. The Huskies are 2-4 in Big East games coached by Calhoun.

Spinal stenosis is narrowing of the spinal column that causes pressure on the spinal cord or narrowing of the openings where spinal nerves leave the spinal column. It usually occurs as a person ages and the disks become drier and start to shrink. Since last summer, doctors have been treating Calhoun's case with exercise and physical therapy. The problem intensified on the airplane flight back from the Georgetown game.

After meeting with doctors on Wednesday, it was decided that other treatments have not corrected the situation. Surgery is performed to relieve pressure on the nerves or spinal cord.

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