Hornets coach Steve Clifford cleared to return following long absence

Hornets coach Steve Clifford has been cleared to return after missing more than a month to deal with a previously undisclosed health issue that has now been identified by Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer as severe headaches.

The Hornets issued a statement Thursday:

The Charlotte Hornets announced today that Head Coach Steve Clifford has been medically cleared to return to coaching the team on a full-time basis. Clifford will officially re-join the team starting with practice on Tuesday, Jan. 16, before returning to the sidelines on Wednesday, Jan. 17, vs. the Washington Wizards. He has been away from the team since Dec. 6 to address his health. Hornets Associate Head Coach Stephen Silas served as the team’s acting head coach while Clifford was out.  

The Hornets have gone 7-11 in Clifford’s absence with associate head coach Stephen Silas at the helm, and are 15-24 overall.