Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 11/28/11

It’s been a rough start to the season for St. John’s college basketball. They’re 4-3 and dropped their first two games against ranked teams. Then also fell to Northeastern last night. Head Coach Steve Lavin was absent for that game, as he continues his treatments in the fight against prostate cancer.

He also missed the opening win over William & Mary, but returned for the Red Storm‘s game two nights later against Lehigh, and also coached the next three.

Lavin underwent prostate cancer surgery October 6th, and left the team for more than a month. The school released a statement from Coach Lav with an update on his health:

“Naturally, I have to continue to be mindful of my stamina and how I utilize energy as I recuperate from surgery. I am working closely with our staff and players as we continue to build our team in preparation for the rigors of conference play.

“We are fortunate to have a first-rate group of assistants with the experience, expertise and basketball acumen to move us forward during this period of recovery. I am confident we won’t miss a beat.”

“The most recent blood work from this past week indicates that I am cancer-free and progressing nicely. I will continue on a modified schedule as we move down the line toward a full recovery.”

Assistant Mike Dunlap serves as head man when Lavin is away.

I first want to say that all of us here at TSB wish Lav a speedy recovery, and a long fruitful life. As a two-time cancer survivor myself, I can tell you that treatment and recovery is not a linear function. You don’t just “get better” a little bit every day in a consistent fashion. You get better over time, but it’s a very up and down process. You have good days and bad days, given how your blood counts are looking, how your immune system is responding to the medication etc.

Your blood counts and your individual health fluctuate like looking at a Dow Jones moving average graph. So expect Lavin to be there for some games, miss others, and so on given how his individual health is progressing. Until one day, we’ll see him as a regular Big East courtside fixture again.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports.

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the FWAA, USBWA and SPJ. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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