Calhoun's Surgery a Success

Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun had successful back surgery Monday at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. The procedure took about two hours and the Connecticut basketball coach is expected to be released Tuesday. He will recover at home and his return to the bench will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis. He would like to return for Saturday's regular-season finale, but that is unclear.

Calhoun had the surgery early and when he was in the recovery room, UConn associate head coach George Blaney heard from Pat Calhoun, the coach's wife.

"We're happy about Coach," Blaney said after practice Monday afternoon before the Huskies boarded a bus for Providence and Tuesday night's Big East game against the Friars.

"Pat called and said they were really pleased with what went on in the procedure," Blaney said. "At the time she called, he was still in recovery. They were hoping he would be feeling really good when he got out of recovery.

"Everything looks encouraging. I think he will be home some time tomorrow. And then we'll take it day-to-day from there."

Over last weekend, Calhoun expressed his hope that he could return to the bench for UConn's last regular season game against Pittsburgh on Saturday. The Big East tournament begins in New York next week and right now it appears the Huskies will have a game on Tuesday - although that could change.

Here's the entire release issued by UConn's athletic communications office:

STORRS (February, 27, 2012) – University of Connecticut men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun underwent successful surgery Monday morning to address foraminal spinal stenosis, a lower back condition which has forced him to take an extended medical leave of absence.

The procedure, performed at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, removed a large extruded disk fragment that was pressing on the spinal nerve and decompressed the area around the nerve. The surgery took approximately two hours and doctors expect the Hall of Fame coach to make a full recovery. He will remain hospitalized overnight and is expected to be released on Tuesday.

"I am very fortunate to have been treated by three of the very best surgeons," Calhoun said. "My heartfelt thanks to them and the entire Beth Israel community, who have made every effort to ensure my stay is as comfortable as possible. "Lastly, thank you to the people across Connecticut and beyond who have reached out to offer their support. It means a great deal."

Calhoun is expected to recuperate at home after his release from the hospital, where his recovery will be monitored by his personal physician. His coaching status will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis.

UConn will play its final two games of the regular season Tuesday night at Providence and Saturday at home against Pittsburgh, then will participate in the BIG EAST Championship next week at Madison Square Garden.

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