UNLV baseball coach Chambers to undergo back surgery

UNLV baseball coach Tim Chambers will undergo back surgery Thursday and miss at least five games.

Chambers plans to return in time for a four-game home series against Northwestern, which begins March 20. Associate head coach Stan Stolte will run the team in Chambers’ absence.

The Rebels lost at 12th-ranked Arizona State 5-4 on Wednesday night with Stolte in charge.

They play three games at Air Force beginning Friday and return home to Wilson Stadium to face Grand Canyon on Tuesday.

This will be Chambers’ second back surgery, and the recovery time is expected to be much quicker than the first operation, which occurred in October 2013. He had fusion surgery on the lower part of his back and took 15 weeks to recover from what typically is an eight-month process.

Chambers said this operation should keep him out two or three days barring a complication.

“For me, that means one day,” he said. “I heal a little bit faster than most. I am fully expecting to be on the field next weekend. That would be provided nothing goes wrong.”

Chambers has been in constant pain recently and said he couldn’t relieve it as he had in the past.

“It will not go away,” Chambers said. “It’s kind of an emergency surgery, or I would be facing permanent damage.”

Chambers, 50, is in his fifth season at UNLV. He took the Rebels to a regional last season, their first trip to the postseason in nine years, and was named Mountain West Coach of the Year.

UNLV is 7-8 this season, giving Chambers a 139-109 record at the school.

In other UNLV news, senior Erik VanMeetren, who went to Bishop Gorman High School, was one of 75 players named to the Johnny Bench Award watch list, an honor that goes to the nation’s best catcher.

Contact Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2914. Follow him on Twitter: @markanderson65.

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