Copy-Hornets coach Clifford returns to work after 21-game absence

By STEVE REED
AP Sports Writer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Hornets coach Steve Clifford returned to practice following a 21-game absence due to headaches caused by sleep deprivation.

Clifford said Tuesday when he began experiencing intense headaches back in early December it scared him so bad he decided to take a medical leave of absence. Medical tests revealed nothing wrong internally, but Clifford said doctors told him he needed to dramatically change his lifestyle and work habits - and get more sleep.

Clifford, who last coached Charlotte on Dec. 1, says he feels rested and plans to delegate more to his assistant coaches moving forward.

The 56-year-old Clifford returns to the sideline Wednesday when Charlotte hosts Washington, the start of a five-game home stand for the struggling Hornets (17-25).

Charlotte was 9-12 under associate head coach Stephen Silas during Clifford's absence.

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