Nuggets' Karl hoping to return Friday

Denver Nuggets coach George Karl, who is being treated for throat and neck cancer, will have a surgical procedure on Monday. That will be followed by chemotherapy on Tuesday.

"You probably won't see me for a while," Karl told media members before the Nuggets played the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.

Karl will miss the Nuggets' game at Minnesota on Wednesday and hopes to be on the sideline at New Orleans on Friday.

The radiation treatments he has received so far have affected his taste buds, reduced his saliva and given him a sore throat.

The procedure on Monday involves inserting a tube to assist feeding.

"I don't think it's a serious surgery, but they're going to have to cut your body open and put something in your stomach," Karl said. "There's always concerns."

J.A. Adande joined ESPN.com as an NBA columnist in August 2007 after 10 years with the Los Angeles Times. Click here to e-mail J.A.