Pistons expect Brown on bench Friday

Updated: March 31, 2005, 12:49 AM ET
Associated Press

Larry Brown will return to coach the Detroit Pistons this week after missing 10 games, a team source told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Brown will rejoin the team at practice Thursday, according to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, and will be on the bench at home Friday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.

He did not coach the Pistons on Wednesday night at home against Sacramento, missing his 10th straight game since undergoing a procedure related to hip surgery, which caused him to miss six games in November.

A message seeking comment from Brown was left Wednesday on his mobile phone.

Brown's future with the defending NBA champions became uncertain when he openly questioned whether he'd be able to return this season.

"I am not going to let them go very much longer [without an answer]," Brown told reporters Tuesday. "I want to get things settled. My whole thing is, I don't know if I can coach and not be healthy. I don't want to think about that. I want to see if I can get better."

He told his players and team president Joe Dumars he planned to spend the rest of this week recovering.

Brown opened his second season with Detroit by coaching the Pistons to a win over Houston, then missed six games after having surgery on his left hip Nov. 3.

"I came back too soon with the hip surgery, and I have been dealing with some things for 4½ months that have been difficult for me," he said Tuesday.

The Hall of Fame coach didn't have much time to enjoy his first NBA title.

After coaching the Pistons to a surprising victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, Brown focused his energy on getting the U.S. basketball team ready for the Olympics. Much to his dismay, the Americans came home with just a bronze medal.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press