MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Gophers head coach Jerry Kill could return to the sidelines as soon as this weekend, according to the team physician.
Kill is getting back to normal after suffering a seizure late in Saturday’s game against New Mexico State. Dr. Pat Smith said in a press conference Monday that Kill is doing well, but is still in the hospital. He alluded that Kill could possibly be released Monday night.
“He has undergone extensive testing, both labs and procedures, all of which have been totally normal,” Smith said.
Sources told WCCO-TV’s Mike Max that Kill was kept in the hospital longer than usual to try and determine what is causing his seizures. They said in previous instances, Kill was treated for his symptoms and released.
Kill had warned his team of the possibility that he could have a seizure because of his battle with cancer.
In a statement released by the University on Monday, Kill said he was grateful for all the support he’s received.
“Rebecca and I want to thank everyone for their prayers and concern,” Kill said. “We’ve received great support from friends, fans and colleagues across the state of Minnesota and around the country and I am humbled by all the get-well wishes. I’m feeling better each day and hope to be back with the team soon. Until then, I have full confidence in my coaching staff to prepare our team to play its best this week against Miami.”
Smith said he is aware that Kill is eager to return to coaching, but Smith and the doctors taking care of Kill want to make sure all precautions are taken to limit the possibility of this happening again.
“Once he leaves the hospital, we don’t have control of him. So, we’re going to make sure … the medication levels are appropriate, that he’s feeling well enough and then encourage him to get back when he feels well,” said Smith. “We have hospitalized him more as a precaution to address those issues that we can address now and not let this occur in the future.”
Saturday’s incident marks the third time in Kill’s coaching career that he has had a seizure on game day. Smith said while they can’t say for sure if it will happen again, they are working to control the situation.
He said team trainers will be taking extra measures to keep Kill well-hydrated and avoid overheating, which can trigger seizures.
Smith said he expects Kill to make a full recovery and be back on the Gopher sideline “sooner rather than later.” However, Smith would not give a timetable for when Kill would be released from the hospital and return to coaching duties.