Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr will take a leave of absence as he recovers from back surgery and will be replaced on an interim basis by Luke Walton.

The Warriors announced Thursday that Kerr will need time off for rehabilitation and recovery. Kerr underwent back surgery to repair a ruptured disk in late July and had follow-up surgery in September.

"After the first two days of training camp, I realized I need to take a step back and focus on my rehabilitation in order to be ready for the grind of another NBA season," Kerr said. "As I noted last week, my summer was difficult and no fun due to the multiple back surgeries. At this point, I simply want to get healthy and back to my normal daily routine on and off the court."

The Warriors said they don't know yet how long Kerr will be out.

women's college basketball

Tournament schedule reverts

The NCAA women's basketball tournament is reverting to its old format.

The tournament will have first-round games Saturday and Sunday this season a year after moving them up a day to begin Friday. Regional semifinals will also be Saturday and Sunday.

"The committee made the day shift change in response to a significant amount of feedback from stakeholders in the game looking to improve in-person attendance and improve television ratings, without sacrificing one for the other," said women's basketball oversight committee chair Jean Lenti Ponsetto. "Along with these changes, we will continue to conduct a strategic format review."

The move to begin the tournament Friday was originally made to help improve attendance, which had become stagnant over the past few years. The change in days and the top 16 seeds hosting lifted attendance to its third-highest total since 2004, but viewership on ESPN was down.

While the first four rounds are changing back their start days, the NCAA decided to keep its Final Four in a Sunday-Tuesday format.


Simmons resurfaces

Bill Simmons dropped his first podcasts in the five months since his breakup with ESPN, but don't expect any bombshells about his former home. At least not yet.

"America has a lot of questions. . . I don't think I'm going to answer them right now," Simmons said in the first podcast. "I have a lot of thoughts about things. I don't think this is the time or the place, so can we just talk about football?"

Besides sharing his love of the New England Patriots and Tom Brady, he promised to "poke fun at some of the ESPN on-air talent," which alone makes the podcast destination listening. It's early, but so far he loves his new home at HBO and expressed his happiness with what might be another little dig, given that he was suspended by ESPN for his past criticism of Roger Goodell.


WNBA: Anne Donovan stepped down as the coach of Connecticut after three losing seasons. Donovan, who took over in 2013 after the Sun fired Mike Thibault, was 38-64 at Connecticut and never made the playoffs.

Tennis: The 2015 season is over for Serena Williams. The No. 1-ranked Williams withdrew from her final two scheduled tournaments of the year, saying she needs time to heal from a series of injuries.

Soccer: Jordan Morris scored a pair of goals, the second off a steal and feed from Wil Trapp, to give the United States a 3-1 victory over Canada in the opener of Olympic qualifying.