Saunders hospitalized for cancer treatment; Mitchell interim coach


What was first reported Thursday became official Friday when the Timberwolves named Sam Mitchell the interim head coach as Flip Saunders is unable to coach as he battles a "very treatable" form of Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Timberwolves Chief Executive Officer Rob Moor opened a press conference at Mayo Clinic Square saying "it has become clear" that Saunders will be unable to resume his duties as head coach.

According to the Star Tribune, Saunders was recently admitted to a hospital after experiencing complications from his treatment.

“First and foremost, my immediate concern is for the Saunders family and the health of Flip Saunders,” Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said in a statement. “Our priority now is for him to regain his strength so that he can be 100 percent when he returns to his Timberwolves duties."

There is no timetable for Saunders' return, but the team believes he could be 100 percent ready to resume coaching within "months," Moor said.

"We gotta do our job," Mitchell said, "and Flip brought us here for a reason."

General Manager Milt Newton will take over a lot of Saunders' responsibilities as president of basketball operations.

Details on Saunders' health and treatment procedures are being kept private.

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