Associate Press Writer
STORRS, Conn. (AP) -Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun plans to be back on the sideline when the Huskies host Big East rival Providence on Thursday night.
The Hall of Fame coach left the bench during the second half of UConn's win over St. John's on Jan. 8, suffering from what team officials at the time said was a combination of stress and exhaustion.
Calhoun traveled with the team to Washington D.C., but was too ill to coach in the Huskies' 72-69 loss to Georgetown on Saturday. He ended up spending that night in the hospital and was treated for dehydration. Associate head coach George Blaney guided the team in his absence.
Calhoun, who ran practice Wednesday, said he has been suffering from a gastric problem, something that has plagued him since a stomach operation as a young man. He said he's had nothing heavier to eat than a banana in the last week.
``I'm feeling lousy. I lost about 8 pounds and I wouldn't recommend the way I did it to people,'' he said. ``Bottom line is, I'm feeling tired, but beyond that I'm feeling OK.''
With their coach back, the Huskies (11-4, 2-2 Big East) enter a critical stretch of their season. Over the next month, UConn plays No. 13 Marquette, No. 9 Indiana, and No. 15 Pittsburgh. The Huskies also will have Big East matchups with Providence, Cincinnati, Louisville, Syracuse and Notre Dame and an out-of-conference matchup with Georgia Tech.
``There is no question that we need coach, without a doubt,'' said point guard A.J. Price. ``He's been on people's minds during the games when he's not on the sideline. It's just good to have him back, good to see that he's feeling much better and hopefully he'll continue to keep feeling well.''
Calhoun has had health issues before and has missed a part or all of 19 games since 1990, including five in 2003 when he underwent surgery for prostate cancer.
``In this particular case I'm going to watch myself very carefully, because we do have 16 more games,'' Calhoun said. ``Shortly after this (practice), I'll do what I have to do and then take off and go home, because the kids beat me up pretty good.''
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