Posted at 4:56 p.m., Thursday, February 22, 2007
UH coach Bolla recuperating from lung infection
By Brandon Masuoka
Advertiser Staff Writer
Surgeons removed a portion of his right lung in a 3 1/2-hour operation Feb. 5 at The Queen's Medical Center, he said.
Bolla, 54, was released the hospital Feb. 12 and has been recuperating at his Manoa residence.
"Every day I'm getting better," said Bolla today in his first meeting with the media since his surgery. "Typical recovery time is six to eight weeks. It's probably a minimum of a month before they want me to fly."
An emotional Bolla spoke highly of the medical staff that cared for him, and added it depends "how I'm feeling" on whether he'll appear at Saturday's Western Athletic Conference home finale for the 'Bows.
"There's no way right now that I would able to come at the beginning of the game and sit in the stands through the whole game," said Bolla who lost 30 pounds off his 6-foot-8 frame and can't stand for long periods. "The only way I'm going to do it is, if I'm loaded up on a whole bunch of pain killers which I don't want to do. ... I would like to be there."
The 'Bows will host San Jose State (3-24, 2-11) on Saturday. Hawai'i seniors Cassidy Chretien, Brittany Grice, Amber Lee, Pam Tambini and Janevia Taylor will be honored following the game at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Bolla said he suffered from Valley Fever, a fungus infection common to dry, arid areas, such as in the Phoenix area and in the San Joaquin Valley area in California.
"About 3 percent of the population has a reaction to this fungus," said Bolla, who added that he likely inhaled the soil-based spores while he was in Phoenix scouting a basketball tournament in mid-December.
"I had a reaction to it," said Bolla, who suffered from flu-like symptoms. "As of now, there's no traces of the Valley Fever in my system."
Had it gone undetected, Bolla said the disease could have migrated to his bloodstream and caused encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, he said.
The 'Bows (13-12 overall, 7-6 WAC) have won six consecutive games, and have gone 4-0 under acting head coach Pat Charity.
Hawai'i concludes its regular season on the road at Idaho, March 1, and at Boise State, March 3. The WAC Tournament will be held, March 6 to 10, in Las Cruces, N.M.
In three seasons at the helm, Bolla has guided the 'Bows to a 38-37 overall and 19-24 WAC record. Last season, the 'Bows enjoyed their best season in four years, going 18-10 overall and 9-7 in the WAC, good for third in the conference.