Rick Majerus Sidelined With Knee Injury Until January
Ute coach to spend the next five weeks in intense rehabilitation.
Nov. 28, 2000
SALT LAKE CITY - Utah head basketball coach Rich Majerus will not rejoin the team until the first week of January in an effort to recover from knee surgery. Majerus did not coach the team during the Puerto Rico Shootout last weekend due to excessive pain and swelling in the knee. His therapist, Keith Kleven, has advised him to take the next five weeks off to undergo a rigid, structured therapy program. Majerus will spend the next two weeks at Kleven's clinic. Dick Hunsaker, who is in his third year as an assistant coach at Utah, will continue to serve as the acting head coach in Majerus' absence. Hunsaker directed the Utes to a 2-1 record and a third-place finish in the Puerto Rico Shootout.
In recent weeks, Majerus has been experiencing severe complications from a late September knee operation. Majerus will undergo extensive rehabilitation in an effort to avoid a second surgery and regain mobility and full use of his right knee.
"He's going through two sessions a day of intense rehab for severe knee pathology and major surgery," said Kleven. "He's doing water exercises one hour a day and various forms of exercise for 1-1/2 hours in the morning and again in the afternoon. Those exercises are part of a very precise, defined program for the type of pathology he has, which requires direct supervision at all times. In the past week, he has made some significant improvement under our care. He's extremely dedicated to rehabilitation, and he wants to return to coaching his team as soon as possible and be able to coach the way he is used to coaching. He's been seen by one of the finest orthopedic surgeons in country, Dr. Thomas Rosenberg, and the two of them have determined his return date."
"I've discussed this with my players, and they have been understanding," said Majerus. "Putting this in a hypothetical situation, if had I taken the time to rehabilitate this properly earlier, and not recruited and stayed off of my knee during practice, I probably would not have compounded the problem to the extent where it is now, which is quite severe. I think I will be a better coach and better able to function within the context of practice subsequent to this rehabilitation."
Entering the 2000-01 season, Majerus' career winning percentage of .742 in 16 seasons was the fifth-highest among active Division I coaches and ranked 15th all-time. Majerus, who has never had a losing season, has averaged 23 wins per year over the course of his career. He has won 20 games 11 times and 30 games twice. Majerus has also guided nine teams to the NCAA Tournament and four others to the NIT. His record in 12 seasons at Utah is 264-74, while his career mark is 363-126 in 17 seasons. He coached the Utes to the 1998 NCAA Championship game.