Auerbach feeling better, returns home from hospital

Updated: October 10, 2005, 1:15 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Boston Celtics patriarch Red Auerbach returned to his home on Friday as his health continues to improve, The Boston Herald reported Monday.

"I still can't walk by myself yet," Auerbach told the paper. "I have to walk with a walker. But I'll get there."

The 88-year-old coaching great has been in and out of the hospital over the past month for tests and a successful surgical procedure. As recently as last month, he was in intensive care for an unspecified ailment.

"The coach is doing very well, and we're all extremely happy," Celtics public relations man Jeff Twiss told the paper. "I've been keeping in touch with the coach and letting him know how things are going with the team."

After Auerbach was released from intensive care last week, he was suffering from a loss of appetite, but friends told the Herald that Auerbach had begun asking for Chinese food within the last week.

Auerbach has two daughters, Nancy and Randy. His wife, Dorothy, died in 2000.

Auerbach, who has spent the past 55 seasons with the Celtics, had health problems before his latest hospitalization. In June, he was not feeling well enough to attend the Celtics' annual draft party in Waltham. The next month, he was unable to attend his weeklong summer basketball camp, which has been in operation for more than four decades. This year, it was held at the University of New Hampshire.

The Brooklyn, N.Y., native joined the Celtics organization in 1950 when he became the franchise's third head coach. After stepping down as coach in 1966, he served as general manager, president and vice chairman of the board.

As coach, he won nine NBA titles with the Celtics, a record later tied by Phil Jackson. Auerbach posted a 938-479 regular-season record, including three seasons with the Washington Capitols and one with the Tri-Cities Hawks before joining the Celtics.

He once held the record for most wins as an NBA coach, a mark now held by Lenny Wilkens, and was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1968.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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