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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Olson returns to practice

Lute Olson returned to the court named after him and his late wife, Bobbi, last night after an unexplained three-week leave of absence. He met with the Arizona men’s basketball team in McKale Center for about 25 minutes before its 8 p.m. practice.

“”I just want to see how I feel on the court tonight,”” Olson told the Arizona Daily Star last night.

Olson said he was unsure if he will coach the team against Cal State Fullerton at 7:30 Wednesday night.

UA interim head coach Kevin O’Neill did not return calls from the Wildcat as of press time. Assistant coach Josh Pastner returned a phone call but declined comment.

Olson, 73, stepped away from the team on Nov. 4, citing personal reasons, saying it was not for health-related reasons. He has missed seven games – two exhibitions and five regular-season contests – during his leave. At 21 days, he has missed three days and two games more than he did during the 2000-2001 season, during which Bobbi died of ovarian cancer.

Olson has missed only two other games in his 24-year tenure at Arizona: a game against La Salle in 1994 because of back problems and a game at Connecticut in 2000 so he could be with Bobbi as she underwent surgery.

Arizona beat La Salle 92-76 but lost to Connecticut 71-69.

The Wildcats have a 3-2 record under O’Neill.

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