- Associated Press - Saturday, February 25, 2012

Connecticut basketball coach Jim Calhoun hopes to return to the bench this season after he undergoes back surgery Monday.

He says he has gone through 10 days of cortisone shots, which took away some of the pain, and he’s looking forward to the procedure.

Calhoun has been on a medical leave of absence since Feb. 3 because of spinal stenosis, a painful narrowing of the spine.

He says doctors told him they must remove a bone chip that’s sitting on a nerve. The school announced previously that he will miss Saturday night’s game against No. 2 Syracuse and Tuesday’s game at Providence. The defending national champions close the regular season against Pittsburgh on March 3. The Big East tournament starts March 6.

Calhoun, who turns 70 in May, says walking and standing cause the most pain. He has missed six games, and the Huskies are 3-3 in those games.

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