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Mitchell on road to recovery after June brain surgery

The UK women’s basketball head coach had blood removed from his brain following a March accident.
Kentucky head coach Matthew Mitchell reacts during the second half of a second round women's...
Kentucky head coach Matthew Mitchell reacts during the second half of a second round women's college basketball game against North Carolina State in the NCAA Tournament in Raleigh, N.C., Monday, March 25, 2019. North Carolina State won 72-57. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)(WKYT)
Published: Oct. 29, 2020 at 5:38 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Back in June, Kentucky women’s basketball head coach Matthew Mitchell underwent surgery to remove blood from his brain following a March accident that left him with a concussion.

He is now on the road to recovery and is slowly but surely returning to the sidelines.

The accident happened in March during a family vacation in Mexico. Mitchell fell during a hike, cracked a little part of his skull and that’s where the blood entered. Thankfully, he is doing okay and is gearing up for the upcoming season.

“Any time you start drilling holes in your skull, it’s a bit of a scary proposition initially," said Mitchell. "The team over at UK HealthCare did an amazing job and surgery was very successful and my family was extremely supportive during my recovery. Very, very blessed and grateful for a wonderful family.”

Mitchell has learned to be patient with his return to coaching. He is ramping up his coaching time as the season inches closer, but he doesn’t want to rush the recovery.

“I think that was the biggest challenge was just being patient," added Mitchell. "The initial challenge was the recovery and without getting into it in too much detail the surgical area was hard and is still healing. That was a big challenge with the pain in your head and getting over that and bone heals very, very slowly. That is difficult and was difficult and then just being patient and just knowing how fast paced basketball is. The team had been practicing and you show up at practice and it is moving really fast and just being patient and knowing that it is all not going to come back in one day. The coaches have been so supportive and that has been an amazing process. I think just being patient when in 25 years of coaching you have been going non-stop and now you have to slow down. That was a bit of a challenge.”

Mitchell added that he has gained an appreciation for certain things following his surgery.

“It is a pretty sobering moment," said Mitchell. "It just makes you understand how precious life is and I know we all say that and believe that but it just makes you realize that we are not promised anything. What I have just tried to do is be real grateful to God for the all the blessings I have with my family and then just the opportunity to be around such a special group of people in our basketball program. These are incredible young women that are just going to make a great, great team and a team we are all going to be proud of. It is an incredible opportunity to be around a group of people like that. I think it just heightens my gratitude for just the tremendous people are in my life. I am real grateful for that.”

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