OAKLAND (AP) — Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr is feeling better as he deals with complications from back surgery, and hopes to be back on the bench in the coming weeks.
Kerr attended practice Monday and Tuesday and was at the team’s shootaround Wednesday ahead of Golden State’s home game against Phoenix.
“What I’ve learned is that I miss it,” Kerr said in a hallway near the team’s locker room. “I’m still hoping in the next two to three weeks to be back on the bench.”
Golden State has given no formal timeline for the coach’s return, reiterating Kerr will tell the team when he is ready. Walton joked about Kerr sending notes to the bench from where he typically watches the games in the coaches’ office — when he stays at all. Some nights, Kerr discusses the game plan with the coaches before they address the team.
“It’s great having him around, obviously,” interim coach Luke 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 lifts the spirit of everyone — the players and the other staff.”
Kerr has been dealing with headaches following two back surgeries — the first procedure causing him to leak spinal fluid — that followed Golden State’s first championship in 40 years. He took a leave of absence the first week of training camp and watched the Warriors’ record 24-0 start behind the scenes. Golden State (24-1) is coming off its first loss Saturday night at Milwaukee.
Walton will welcome Kerr back whenever that time comes.
“This is obviously Steve’s team. The more he can do, the better,” Walton said. “He was very active in shootaround today. Obviously we’ll continue to encourage him to do as much as he wants when he’s with us. But as far as thinking about transition back, that’s not going to be beneficial until I know for certain, or we as a staff, that Steve’s going to be taking over again. We don’t know when that will be. So we’re still preparing the same for not having him with us.”