After experiencing "one of the toughest summers I've had in a long time," UConn men's basketball coach Dan Hurley went back to work on Wednesday.

Hurley's return came less than two weeks after he underwent surgery for a herniated disk and spinal cord compression. Two disks were replaced with artificial ones during the surgery.

"I've been on a great run, going from high school coach to coach at UConn in 10 years," the Huskies coach said Wednesday during a post-practice conference call with state reporters. "My toughest adversity was bouncing back from a tough loss, which pales in comparison to feeling that your health is failing. I'm going to have a so much better [of] a perspective on my purpose and what the essence of my purpose is in my life on this earth -- how important my faith is to me when it was reinforced, how important my family is to me when it was reinforced, how important I am to my players. My true purpose as coach came into much clearer focus for me."

Hurley's health issues began during the summer, when his left shoulder and arm felt the effects of tingling in his neck. He also felt chest tightness as the result of a chronic problem with his stomach and esophagus.

In August, he drove himself to Hartford Hospital's emergency room.

On Sept. 6, he underwent surgery at the Weill Cornell Medical Center for Comprehensive Spine Care in New York.

After he was examined Tuesday in New York, Hurley was cleared to return to full-time coaching duties, and he was in charge of Wednesday's practice.

"They know I'm back now," Hurley, 46, said. "I was getting on guys today. Any feeling sorry for me or good will about the coach being back went out the door today when I got on guys for their lack of defensive prowess. All that love is gone."

UConn's season opener against Sacred Heart is on Nov. 8.

--Field Level Media

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