Calhoun Taking Indefinite Medical Leave | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / February 6.
  • Calhoun Taking Indefinite Medical Leave

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    UConn 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, the school announced Friday.

    Calhoun, a Hall of Famer who turns 70 in May, 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.

    It is Calhoun’s second medical leave in two years and third since 2003. He also missed three games earlier this year because of NCAA sanctions.

    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.”

    The Huskies (14-7, 4-5)  have lost four straight entering the Seton Hall game and are in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament after winning it all last year.



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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.