CEDAR FALLS — Iowa men’s basketball coach Todd Lickliter was released Tuesday morning from University of Iowa Hospitals, three days after a stent was inserted into his carotid artery.
Lickliter, 54, suffered a tear in his carotid artery and the stent was inserted Saturday. The carotid artery supplies the head and neck with oxygenated blood and any disruption in the artery causes headaches and could lead to a stroke, according to medical Web sites.
He did not attend last night’s game in Cedar Falls. He missed Saturday’s game against Prairie View A&M to have the surgery.
“I was having headaches when we were in Kansas City (for a tournament),” Lickliter said in an interview on Iowa’s pre-game radio show. “It turned out to be the beginning of a tear in (the) carotid artery. I’m thankful for the thoroughness of the medical staff, very thankful for that. They ran all the scans, they made sure of the diagnosis, then made a decision on what to do. It was not an easy decision; it was very stressful.
“I’m thankful, because it’s something that I might have dismissed. Our medical staff would not let that happen. They made sure I got to the right people.”
Lickliter said he sought counsel from friends in the medical field before electing to have the stent procedure. His wife, Joez, and his sons Ry, Garrett and John, have been with him during his recuperation. Garrett is a graduate assistant, and John is a red-shirt point guard. Both were at the game last night.
Matt Weitzel, Iowa’s assistant sports information director for men’s basketball, said Lickliter was advised to rest this week and it’s doubtful he’ll be coaching Friday at Iowa State.
“The doctors have said I probably need this week to try to recover, it’s been pretty stressful,” Lickliter said. “I love the game, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to coach basketball and to be the head coach at Iowa. But at the same time, your health has to take precedent over everything. I hope everyone will pay attention to the way they feel and follow up. I had bad headaches and a few other symptoms.
“The physicians were well in tune. When I gave them the symptoms, they were great in following up.”