Jerry Kill understands how serious his condition looks to outsiders, and how people worry that his seizures are dangerous. But he returned to work on Wednesday, just three days after being admitted to Mayo Clinic following another seizure, and declared that he's more worried about a different problem:
The Gophers' 1-3 record.
"I have a complicated issue. It's not something I'm going to die from, but it's complicated right now," Kill said after conducting practice Wednesday. "I got out of the hospital today -- I got out at 11 [a.m.], I was back here at 1 [p.m.] for a coaches' meeting. So it isn't like I'm going home and resting."
No, he's preparing to play Michigan in Ann Arbor this Saturday, and Kill said he will be 100 percent in charge, as always. "The rest of it, I've talked enough about it," he said, clearly impatient that his health has become the focus of the Gophers' season. His doctors "haven't got it all figured out yet, but hopefully they'll make progress on it, and we'll be fine."
Kill said he didn't check himself into Mayo on Sunday, clearly inferring that he was taken there after a seizure. But the coach looked and sounded strong, much better than after the initial seizure and five-day hospital stay earlier this month. He said he felt the Mayo doctors made progress in finding a course of medication that will prevent the seizures from recurring, but once he was healthy enough to return, he did so. "If I'm not here, it's because I'm not able to," Kill said. But the Gophers "hired me to turn this program around, and I have to be here to do that."
He's got another problem to worry about, too: Quarterback MarQueis Gray has a foot and toe injury, the coach said, and did not practice on Wednesday. The Gophers will determine on Thursday whether the junior quarterback will be able to play on Saturday.
Other injury news: Kill said the fractured forearm that is affecting senior cornerback Troy Stoudermire may keep him out of action Saturday. "I don't know what we'll do with him," Kill said of Stoudermire, who is also the Big Ten's all-time leading kickoff returner. "He may be a bigger question mark because it affected his play" last week against North Dakota State. Stoudermire, who has been wearing a cast for more than a week, leads the Gophers with two interceptions this year.
Also, freshman receiver Marcus Jones suffered a slight concussion, and while he's moving well this week, Kill said he will be cautious about using him again too soon. Jones is third on the team with seven receptions for 101 yards.