Sixers coach Doug Collins is back at practice after medical treatment

Posted: October 23, 2010

Doug Collins returned to 76ers practice Friday after missing the final two games of the preseason so he could get medical treatment.

Collins, 59, had tests and was treated for what neurologists determined was vertigo stemming from a concussion he suffered on Memorial Day.

The Sixers coach said he was in a coffee shop in Phoenix when he fainted, hitting a table and a chair as he fell. Collins said he cracked his head on the concrete and shattered three ribs.

He was in Cincinnati on Tuesday for the team's exhibition game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he left before it started when he experienced symptoms from the head injury.

Collins said he had fainted before because of low blood pressure, which was the case in May. He said he did not expect to miss any more time.

"Feel awesome, terrific," he said. "I was able to have a couple of days where I saw the doctor. All the tests were great.

"What happened was, I guess, you have these little crystals in your ear that control your equilibrium, and one of them got dislodged. And so the treatment I'm getting, and the medicine, is trying to get that back in the canal to where you get the equilibrium back."

Collins is the second NBA head coach to miss preseason action after fainting. During a Dallas team practice earlier this month, the Mavericks' Rick Carlisle had to be carried off the court on a stretcher and taken to a hospital. The 50-year-old coach was released later that day.

Having spoken with Carlisle, Collins said he looks for the positives.

"Sometimes you see things differently from a distance than you do sitting [on the sideline]," he said. Carlisle "had to miss a couple of games, and he said he learned about his team, taking a step away."

Collins said he spent nearly eight hours reviewing film of the last two games, and he pointed to the need to avoid offensive droughts. But, he added, that problem was largely the result of inserting a combination of players who had not played much together.

With the regular-season opener set for Wednesday, Collins said he was close to a decision on the starting lineup. A lot hinges on players' health.

Spencer Hawes, who sat out the last five exhibition games because of a lower-back sprain, returned to practice Friday at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and said he felt fine. Collins said he expects to start Hawes at center, "if he stays healthy."


Contact staff writer Mario Aguirre at 215-854-4550 or maguirre@phillynews.com.

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