San Jose

Doctor Agrees With Steve Kerr's Advice to Avoid Back Surgery

Warriors coach said those with similar conditions to his should stay way from an operation and 'rehab, rehab, rehab'

While Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr made an appearance at the morning shoot-around in Portland on Monday, he made it clear that pain, nausea and other issues were keeping him from coaching in Game 4 and possibly longer.

The 51-year-old has been suffering from the effects and complications of a cerebral-spinal fluid leak following back surgery in July 2015. On Sunday, after he announced his indefinite absence, Kerr offered some very blunt advice for others dealing with similar back issues.

"I can tell you if you are listening out there: If you have back problems, stay away from surgery," he said. "I can say that from the bottom of my heart. Rehab, rehab, rehab."

Dr. Robert Aptekar, a board certified and Stanford University trained orthopedic surgeon with 25 years experience, agreed with Kerr's advice.

"He is not a physician, but it's good advice in general," Aptekar said. "Most back problems can be managed with rehab, physical hearty and sometimes medicine."

But Aptekar also said for some, back surgery may be the best option.

"There are some circumstances that do require an operation to get a patient back on their feet again,' he said.

A cerebral spinal fluid leak is a rare complication, Aptekar added, and it can be hard to track and fix. It certainly can lead to the type of severe pain Kerr has experienced, he said.

Meanwhile, fans say they'll miss watching Kerr walk the sideline, but they believe the Warriors will do just fine.

"I'm not worried ... with the talent they've got," Warriors fan Alex Law. of San Jose, said. "They should be fine. It's not a problem."

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