Mike Krzyzewski taking leave of absence to undergo back surgery
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski will take an indefinite leave of absence due to back problems.
The team announced in a statement issued Monday that Krzyzewski needs surgery to remove a fragment of a herniated disc. The timetable for recovery is roughly four weeks. Assistant coach Jeff Capel will coach the team in Krzyzewski’s absence, starting with Saturday’s game against Boston College.
“Dr. William Richardson, Dr. Friedman, and our medical team have worked tirelessly to help manage this issue for several weeks,” Krzyzewski said in the statement. “Together, we have determined that surgery is the best course of action at this time. During my recovery process, the team will be in the capable hands of Coach Capel, Coach James and Coach Scheyer. As soon as the doctors clear me to do so, I look forward to returning and giving our team 100% of my energy and attention, which is certainly something that they deserve.”
A source had told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman that Krzyzewski would be taking the leave of absence.
“His back has been bothering him way worse than he’s let on,” the source said. “The plan is for him to be back at some point this year.”
Krzyzewski isn’t the first prominent basketball coach to step away to address back problems. Hopefully his surgery goes smoothly and is free of complications.