PORTLAND, Ore. — Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Sunday he won’t return to the sideline until he can find a remedy for the painful symptoms he’s experiencing due to complications from back surgery almost two years ago.
He acknowledged this could keep him out the remainder of the playoffs.
“This is not going to be a case where I’m coaching one night and not coaching the next,” Kerr said. “I’m not going to do that to our team, to our staff. We’re hoping that over the next week or two, or whatever it is, I can start to make a definitive realization, a reduction, or just feel it that I’m going to do this or not.”
Kerr missed the Warriors’ Game 3 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday. Assistant coach Mike Brown served as the acting head coach.
The team could also be without Kevin Durant for Monday’s Game 4 because of a strained left calf. Durant has missed the previous two games because of the injury.
The 2015-16 Coach of the Year addressed the media at the team’s hotel in downtown Portland. He would not disclose the symptoms he’s dealing with, but ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported that Kerr’s surgical procedure caused a spinal fluid leak that gives him excruciating symptoms such as migraines and nausea.
Kerr said he has been dealing with the situation post-surgery, but added that recently his symptoms became more intense.
“The symptoms, for whatever reason, took a turn for the worse maybe five days ago,” Kerr said. “I was able to manage the pain and discomfort over the last year and a half, and suddenly things got a lot worst and I don’t know why.”
He’s consulting with doctors in hopes of finding a remedy. Earlier this season, Kerr revealed that he tried marijuana in an attempt to relieve his constant pain after surgery.
“I can tell you, if you’re listening out there, if you have a back problem, stay away from surgery,” he said. “I can say that from the bottom of my heart. Rehab, rehab, rehab. Don’t let anybody get in there.”
Kerr felt well enough Sunday morning to be present during the team’s film session. He watched Game 3 Saturday from his hotel room with his son. He said it was “tough” to not be in the trenches alongside his players, but he was pleased with the performance of Brown.
“I was on my couch in my room telling my son we should put so-and-so in right now, and that guy was going to the table,” Kerr said with a laugh. “Mike and I are thinking along the same lines.”
Kerr said he will continue to be involved with the team’s preparation during the postseason. But in the meantime, he will do all he can to attempt a return to the bench.
“I’m hoping for some improvement,” he said. “If I get some improvement, I’ll get back on the sidelines. But I’m not going to do that unless I know I can help the team.”