Fair Game

Peter Jacobsen underwent another operation Wednesday - that's right, his second in a week - in what he hopes will be his final surgical procedure for some time.

It was the second half of a laser surgery to correct a bout with spinal stenosis.

'They go into one side of your spine, then wait a week for the trauma to calm down before they go into the other side,' says Jacobsen, 53, from his home in Naples, Fla. 'It's simply amazing - a medical miracle.'

Jacobsen is no longer a kid - his daughter, Amy, is expecting what will be his first grandchild in October.

Jacobsen has had eight surgeries in the last three years - two on the knees, three on the hips, three on the back. The knee problems were related to the hips. The last hip surgery was six months ago, 'and that feels great now,' he says.

But the hip problems affected the integrity of his back muscles. A month ago, he had surgery to loosen stiffness in the lower back.

He was playing again two days later and finished in a tie for fifth at the Champions Toshiba Classic in Newport Beach, Calif., the following week. But the back pain returned, worse than ever.

'I'd never had sciatic pain before,' he says. 'It's crippling.'

Jacobsen figures he can do some damage on the Champions Tour when he returns in four or five weeks, providing his health holds up.

'I'm trying to get into position not only where I can play golf, but also have a healthy quality of life,' he says. 'I'm resilient. I have a good attitude about it. I try to use the downtime to re-energize and reinvigorate my desire to play the game. I'll do that again.'

• Who are the most well-compensated coaches in the NBA? Portland's Nate McMillan is right up there. McMillan and San Antonio's Gregg Popovich, who each make $5.5 million a year, are tied for third in annual salary behind the L.A. Lakers' Phil Jackson ($10.3 million a year) and Golden State's Don Nelson ($6 million). The average head coach's salary this season is $3.81 million.

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