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Steve Kerr said he had rare spinal fluid leak, no timetable for return

Dallas Mavericks v Golden State Warriors

Dallas Mavericks v Golden State Warriors

NBAE/Getty Images

It was known Steve Kerr had back surgery during the off-season, but the announcement that the coach of the NBA champs would be taking some time off to recover during the preseason and potentially beyond did catch everyone off guard.

Sunday he attended Warriors practice (he’s done that a few times during his “absence”) and spoke to the media about what was going on — and it’s not pretty. From ESPN’s Ethan Sherwood Strauss, who was at practice.

“I had a spinal fluid leak during the first surgery,” he told the media Sunday at the Warriors’ practice facility. “It’s very rare, it does happen occasionally, but it happens when there’s an accidental nick of the dura that surrounds the spinal cord. But I lost spinal fluid, took about a month to figure out what was going on, a lot of headaches, some other symptoms.”

After the leak became apparent, Kerr had an additional surgery Sept. 4 to repair the issue.

However, he can’t put a timetable on his return.
“It’s a matter of your body sort of recalibrating,” he said. “Unfortunately, it’s not like a sprained ankle, one to two weeks. There’s no telling. It’s a little bit open-ended, but everyone’s confident I’m going to be fine. That’s where I am. I’m not going to be put a timetable on when I’m going to come back.”

Luke Walton is the Warriors’ interim coach until Kerr returns.

With the same core players in the same system, the Warriors shouldn’t have an issue in the short-term without Kerr. As the season grinds on and certainly heading into the playoffs, they will need Kerr and his ability to push the right buttons with this group. But for a few weeks or so, the system is on cruise control.