Kerr hopes for return to Warriors in early January

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SAN FRANCISCO – Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, recuperating from back surgery and sidelined since the start of the NBA season, said Thursday he hopes to be back on the bench by early January.

”What I’ve learned is that I miss it,” Kerr said. ”I’m still hoping in the next two to three weeks to be back on the bench.”

The organization is leaving the timetable of his return up to Kerr, who guided the Warriors to last season’s NBA title.

Luke Walton has served as interim coach in Kerr’s absence and the Warriors began with the best start in NBA history before losing at Milwaukee a week ago. Golden State is 25-1 after beating Phoenix 128-103 on Wednesday.

Kerr underwent two off-season back surgeries and the initial procedure caused him to leak spinal fluid, with severe headaches among the complications following the operations. But Kerr said his condition has improved this month and he has spent more time with the team as a result.

”It’s great having him around, obviously,” Walton said. ”He’s a phenomenal coach. The players respect him. The players love playing for him. So, it’s nice to have him back out on the court, pointing out things here and there, doing some coaching, and putting us through some drills.

”I think it lifts the spirit of everyone.” (AFP)

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