Nuggets’ Karl has more complications in cancer recovery
AP Sports Writer
Vail, CO Colorado
DENVER – Nuggets coach George Karl has another blood clot in his right leg as he recovers from radiation and chemotherapy treatment for throat and neck cancer.
Karl’s partner, Kim Van Deraa, wrote on her blog this weekend that the 58-year-old coach was rushed to the hospital Friday afternoon with the clot. She said doctors were trying to determine the cause because Karl already is on blood-thinning medication.
Van Deraa also writes that doctors reinserted a filter into his abdomen. The filter had been removed two weeks ago.
The filter prevents the clots from traveling to his hart or lungs. It initially was inserted in March when Karl was first treated for blood clots.
Van Deraa and Karl, who are raising their 5-year-old daughter, Kaci, together, had been writing increasingly upbeat blog posts about Karl’s slow recovery from squamous cell carcinoma.
But the latest post said Karl mentioned his right big toe was hurting Friday and that it felt swollen, so Van Deraa called Karl’s doctor, who set up an ultrasound.
She wrote that “it turned out he has a blood clot in the same right leg so he was admitted to the hospital to break up the clot.”
Karl was diagnosed with cancer late last year and informed his players and the media after coaching the Western Conference in the All-Star Game in February. He began a grueling six-week treatment of radiation and chemotherapy that eventually sidelined him in mid-March.
He had hoped to return to coaching in the playoffs but his treatment caused him to lose 25 pounds along with his strength and stamina. His voice is a raspy whisper, his mouth full of sores and his neck red and tender from the radiation.
The Nuggets were 42-21 under Karl but went 12-12 under acting coach Adrian Dantley and were eliminated by the Utah Jazz in six games in the opening round of the playoffs.
Karl hopes to return to the Nuggets this summer so he can participate in the team’s busy offseason.
Owner Stan Kroenke said Karl’s health is the top priority now for the Nuggets, who degenerated from a championship contender to a dysfunctional squad during Karl’s absence.