Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski to have lower back surgery, could miss up to 4 weeks

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Duke's Coach K will have surgery on his lower back. Associate head coach Jeff Capel will fill in (WTVD)

Duke announced Monday that men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski will have lower back surgery on Friday, Jan. 6, to remove a fragment of a herniated disc and will be stepping away from the team while he recovers.

The anticipated recovery time is up to four weeks, Duke said.

Associate head coach Jeff Capel will coach the team in Krzyzewski's absence.

Duke associate head coach Jeff Capel

After trying a number of different conservative treatment options over the last month, the team said it was decided that surgery was needed

"Dr. William Richardson, Dr. Friedman, and our medical team have worked tirelessly to help manage this issue for several weeks," said Krzyzewski. "Together, we have determined that surgery is the best course of action at this time."

Krzyzewski said he's looking forward to returning as soon as doctors clear him.

Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White said Krzyzewski's health is paramount.

Capel's first game leading the team will be against Boston College on Jan. 7 at home. He coached the team last season against Georgia Tech when Krzyzewski had to miss the game due to illness.

Duke is currently 12-2 and has had a rocky last few weeks. One of their star guards, Grayson Allen, was suspended indefinitely after tripping an Elon player on Dec. 21. It was his third tripping incident in the last year.

In Allen's first game out, Duke lost convincingly to Virginia Tech in their ACC opener, 89-75.

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