Steve Lavin likely to miss exhibition tilt

NEW YORK -- St. John's men's basketball coach Steve Lavin is not expected to coach the team in its exhibition opener against Division II C.W. Post on Tuesday night.

"I'd be surprised," said assistant coach Tony Chiles, when meeting with the media Tuesday afternoon. "I would say no. But if he showed up, I don't think anyone on the staff would be like, 'Wow.'"

Lavin, 47, is still recovering from the surgery for prostate cancer that he underwent on Oct. 6. The surgery was deemed "a success" by Lavin in a statement released by the school, and the coach is consulting with his doctor daily about when to return to the team.

In the meantime, Lavin has missed both the St. John's Midnight Madness festivities on Oct. 14 and Big East media day on Oct. 19. But he receives a DVD of every practice at his Manhattan apartment, and is putting together the team's daily practice plans based on watching them.

"He's in really good spirits," said Chiles. "He's excited. I know one thing, his thumbs are feeling real great, 'cause he's doin' a whole lot of texting. So we've been in contact with him on a regular basis."

Kieran Darcy is a staff writer for ESPNNewYork.com.