Smith recovering after complications from knee replacement surgery

Updated: January 19, 2008, 8:33 PM ET
Associated Press

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Hall of Fame coach Dean Smith is recovering from complications following knee replacement surgery last month.

Smith, who led North Carolina to 879 victories and two NCAA championships, turns 77 next month. Reached Saturday night by telephone, Smith would only say he was doing fine, except for top-ranked North Carolina's 82-80 loss to Maryland earlier in the day.

Linnea Smith said her husband's knee is "great," but that he had "cardiological and neurological complications" after the Dec. 3 operation. He was discharged, readmitted for rehabilitation, then discharged again Jan. 11.

Linnea Smith, a psychiatrist, would not give details about the cardiological and neurological issues. She said her husband doesn't want his medical matters publicized, nor does he want people to make a big deal of his recovery.

"He's working on physical therapy; he's better, and he's looking forward to playing golf again," she said, adding that it would be spring before Smith could tee it up again.

Smith was more optimistic.

"Hope to play in a month or so," he said. "The weather should be pretty by then."

Smith retired in 1997 after 36 seasons at North Carolina. He had an 879-254 record and was Division I's all-time winningest coach when he retired. Bob Knight of Texas Tech has since passed Smith's win total.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press