STORRS, Conn.— University of Connecticut basketball coach Jim Calhoun, who missed three games earlier this season because of NCAA sanctions, is taking an indefinite medical leave of absence because of back problems.
The Hall of Fame coach of the defending national champions, who turns 70 in May, has been suffering for several months from spinal stenosis, a lower back condition that causes him severe pain and hampers mobility, he told The Associated Press on Friday.
“I had back pain like never before last summer, thought it was back spasms,” he said. “I saw a neurologist and he told me about scoliosis, stenosis and other things and that there could be things like a bone spur and that I could probably need something done at some point. I went for the physical therapy and it worked, but it started to lock up sometimes recently and it was worse.”
George Blaney, the team’s associate head coach, said Calhoun began feeling pain in his legs and rear end during last weekend’s road trip to Georgetown.
“When we got off the plane, he really had trouble getting in the car and going home,” he said.
Blaney will lead the team in Calhoun’s absence. The Huskies (14-7, 4-5 Big East) have lost four games in a row and fell out of the top 25 for the first time in 28 weeks. They play host to Seton Hall today.