Sportress of Blogitude

Warriors player: Steve Kerr could be out until after the All-Star break


Steve Kerr’s protracted and painstaking recovery from back surgery could possibly mean the Golden State Warriors head coach may not return to the bench until after the All-Star Break, according to reports.

Kerr underwent surgery in late July after the Warriors won the NBA title to repair a ruptured disc in his back. He had a follow-up surgery in September to deal with a “very rare” spinal fluid leak then announced in early October before the start of the regular season that he would be taking a leave of absence to ensure he’s “healthy, completely recovered and ready for not only the rigors of a long NBA season, but day-to-day life in general,” per a statement at the time from Warriors general manager Bob Myers.

During Wednesday’s broadcast of the Warriors’ 112-108 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, ESPN’s J.A. Adande reported that an inside source indicated to him that Kerr is nowhere near returning to full-time coaching duties.

“We had a chance to catch up with coach Kerr before the game and he still seemed very fatigued, told us he’s dealing with headaches, is still heavily medicated,” Adande reported, as transcribed by CBS Sports. “Yet [he] did get a chance to talk to the team after its 50-point victory over the Memphis Grizzlies the other day. He joked with them that, ‘It’s obvious you guys need me.’ Now, they took that as a good sign his sense of humor was back. But he’s still far away. In fact, one player told me they wouldn’t be surprised if it takes him until after the All-Star break to return. And they’re prepared to go that long without him.”

While it’s unfortunate that Kerr’s back issues will keep him away from the team for potentially so long, the Warriors have at least performed more than capably in his absence. Under the leadership of lead assistant-turned-interim head coach Luke Walton — and presumably some input from Kerr — the team has stormed out of the gate to a 5-0 record.