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Fran McCaffery’s son to have surgery same day as Iowa’s first NCAA game

Fran McCaffery

Iowa coach Fran McCaffery reacts during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Nebraska, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, in Iowa City, Iowa. Iowa won 67-57. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)


Fran McCaffery’s 13-year old son Patrick will have surgery to remove a tumor from his thyroid only hours before the Hawkeyes are scheduled to play Tennessee in the First Four in Dayton.

The plan, as of Monday night, was for McCaffery to fly back to Iowa City for the surgery before returning to Dayton to coach his team on Wednesday night.

“My hope is ... if I can, fly back for the surgery and then fly back for the game if I can work that out,” McCaffery told the AP Sunday. “We’ll see, logistically, if we can pull all that together.”

It will not be known if the tumor is malignant until after the surgery is completed, but between the health issues that his son is battling and the recent struggles of his basketball team, it’s not hard to understand that this is a trying time for McCaffery.

The Iowa team wore Team Pat shirts as warm-ups during the Big Ten tournament.