Williams could miss ACC tourney

March 04, 1995|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Sun Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams, hospitalized since Tuesday with pneumonia, still was listed in fair condition yesterday at the Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park.

According to Robert Jepson, the hospital's director of public information, Williams' condition has remained virtually unchanged since he was admitted. "He's pretty sick," said Jepson. "He's improving, but it's a slow process."

Jepson said that the listing of a fair condition indicates that a patient is not in a life-threatening situation. "It means the vital signs are stable, the patient is conscious, but uncomfortable," Jepson said.

Jepson said that the timetable for Williams' release, as well as his return to coaching, is unclear. Williams, who turns 50 today, will miss his second straight game when the sixth-ranked Terrapins finish their regular season tomorrow at Virginia. A victory will give Maryland sole possession of the ACC regular-season title.

Team trainer J. J. Bush, who has been in contact with Williams and his doctors, said that he visited with the Maryland coach yesterday. "He's better, I can definitely say that," said Bush. "He got a good night's sleep. He's improving, but whether or not he improves to where he can coach next week I can't say."

Added Bush: "The thing he has going for him is that he's very healthy."

But the longer Williams remains hospitalized, the less likely it will be for him to coach the Terps in the ACC tournament. There is also a possibility that Williams might not be ready to resume full-time coaching duties once the NCAA tournament begins, either March 16 or 17.

According to Dr. Carl Schoenberger, a pulmonary specialist at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Gaithersburg, there is usually a correlation between the length of a patient's hospital stay and the amount of time it would take to fully recover.

"Even if you get out of the hospital, you're pretty wiped out for a week or two or even longer," said Schoenberger. "You could expect several weeks of convalescence. You risk complications such as a recurrence of the pneumonia or even what is called a 'super infection' if you try to do too much too soon."

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