SALT LAKE CITY — There remains no definitive time frame for the end of Steve Kerr’s chronic pain, which the Warriors coach concedes has taken an immense physical and emotional toll.
There is, however, at least momentary reason for optimism.
Warriors general manager Bob Myers said on Sunday that Kerr underwent a procedure designed to provide relief from the debilitating symptoms that two weeks ago forced him to take an indefinite leave from his job.
Though Warriors CEO Joe Lacob indicated Friday that Kerr had the procedure on Thursday, Myers said it was Friday. In either case, the search for resolution to the pain resulting from a spinal fluid leak is not yet complete.
“It’s hard to answer some of this because even the doctors aren’t entirely sure of recovery time,” Myers said in an impromptu news conference at the team hotel. “And that’s why we’ve been a little bit indefinite about everything, because we don’t know.
“But the procedure went well, as far as we know. Now it’s a case of how it takes and when he might or might not be back. The good news is it’s on the path to recovery. But I wish I could be more definitive.”
After initially consulting with staff at the Stanford Medical Center, and also undergoing tests there, Kerr traveled on Thursday to Duke University Spine Center, a place he had visited on at least one previous occasion.
The surgery, according to Myers, was “similar” to previous procedures.
Assuming the procedure was a success, Kerr conceivably could return within a week, according to team sources. Lacob, in an interview with Bloomberg Radio, said he hoped it would be sooner rather than later.
“I’m optimistic about his recovery,” Myers said. “I don’t know what that means, ‘sooner than later.’ You could decide what sooner or later means. It honestly is one of those things where everybody’s body reacts differently. He obviously had an adverse reaction two years ago.”
After experiencing considerable back pain for nearly a year, Kerr underwent surgery in July 2015 and again in early September, the second procedure to address what went wrong with the first.
So began his odyssey of misery. He took a nearly four-month leave of absence, beginning with training camp in 2015, returning in January 2016. Though he felt he had improved to the degree he could resume coaching, the pain never went away.
It took a turn for the worse last month, forcing Kerr to the sideline.
“Most of the people who’ve gone through this deal with it for a few weeks or a few months,” Kerr told NBCSportsBayArea.com on April 24. “It’s been 19 months, and I don’t have any idea when it will end.”
Kerr at that time expressed confidence that if doctors could isolate the precise source of the leak, they’d be able to fix it. Even with this latest procedure, it’s still a waiting game.
“I wish I could say that we had some kind of solution and we were progressing and I could say he’s going to be back,” Myers said. “But we just can’t say that right now.”