Calhoun to AP: 'I'm Hurting, Going to Need Some Work Done'
"I had back pain like never before last summer, thought it was back spasms," he said. "I saw a neurologist and he told me about scoliosis, stenosis and other things and that there could be things like a bone spur and that I could probably need something done at some point. I went for the physical therapy and it worked, but it started to lock up sometimes recently and it was worse."
"The bottom line is I'm going to need some work done," Calhoun told the AP. "In January the shooting pains were getting worse and after one plane ride I couldn't even get up. I tried to hide it. I'm taking medicine right now for the pain and they are waiting for things to quiet down and I'll meet with the doctor next week. "I told (president) Susan (Herbst) about it and said I could make it through the season that there were only 3 1/2 weeks left. But it's just so bad, even getting through practice. Now I'm going to see what the next step is. The bottom line is I'm hurting."
Calhoun had seen back specialists at the UConn Medical Center and up in Boston this past fall. We're told he considered surgery during his three-game NCAA suspension at the start of the Big East season, but decided against it when it appeared he'd miss too many games.
It's not known definitively if Calhoun will need surgery (though judging by his quotes to the AP, he will). If so, the big question is when: now, or some time after the season?
If it's now, I wouldn't expect to see Calhoun back on the sidelines this season.
Here are some quotes from UConn's practice today:
“I brought Shabazz, Jeremy and Alex into the room before practice and talked to them about – this is Coach Calhoun’s team, my voice is voice they’re going to have to listen to now for whatever amount of games or practices, and that I need their help and I need them to take control of the team again in the locker room.”
"He’s the toughest guy I know. He doesn’t use Novocaine when he goes to the dentist."
“When adversity hits sometimes, you watch what people can and can’t do. It’s time for people to step up and do it ... I like adversity with teams. I think it tells what guys are made of. I’m not worried about that. I’m worried about playing hard right now.”
“We all know we haven’t been working hard enough. We’re playing with dead faces. I want that guy in Section 209 to see our guys are having fun.”
Blaney said he probably won't start the same five players who started against Georgetown on Wednesday.
“It’s one of those things that we wish we could be there to help him, and he wishes he could be here to help us. But sometimes, you’ve got to go on your journey without your captain.”
“It hit us negatively, but right now, at this point, we’re staying positive. We know that we’ve still got a lot more games left in the season, and we’ve got to take it one practice, one game, one day at a time.”
(on his recent on-court struggles)
“If I knew, I’d let you know. I don’t know, man. I talked with Coach Blaney today, we had an intimate talk, emotional. We just want to be back on-target. We all hate losing, that’s the worst feeling in the world. Sometimes, you’ve got to go through these rough edges to sharpen your game up.”
(on not starting vs. Georgetown)
“That wasn’t a problem at all, man. I’m just here to win. Coach felt like Boatright should be able to start, I felt he should be able to start the way I’ve been playing, too. I’m just trying to win. It doesn’t matter to me. As long as I’m out there the last five minutes of the game, when it really counts, I’m happy with that.”
“We’re ready. We’re going to come out with fire tomorrow and play hard. We had a great practice today, a great team meeting before practice, and we’re in it for each other. We’re brothers.”
“Everybody was devastated. We just hope he gets better.”
“I think we’re going to overcome it and do something special again. We’re the only ones who know what we’re going through. Everybody else is on the outside looking in.”