NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — St. John’s coach Steve Lavin won’t accompany his team to Thursday night’s game at No. 1 Kentucky, the third straight game and fourth this season he’s missed while recovering from prostate cancer surgery.

Lavin, who had surgery Oct. 6, told WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Tuesday that he is cancer-free but his stamina has not improved enough for him to coach in games. He added there is no date for him to return to the bench with the Red Storm (4-3).

He missed the season opener, but was on the bench for four games before missing last week’s win over St. Francis and loss to Northeastern at home.

“I had a setback after coming back for those four games,” Lavin told Francesa. “The conditioning, the stamina, the energy level was just not there yet.”

Listen: Lavin with Francesa: I’m cancer-free

The second-year coach says he will keep working with his doctors as he follows a modified schedule.

“This is the first time for me having cancer, first major surgery of my life,” said Lavin. “So I am learning as I go along and clearly I need to avoid putting any dates on calendars or projecting or looking down the road because I think that’s the danger.

“You have to really let healing, the doctors and where your strength is at determine a return date.”

Assistant coach Mike Dunlap will serve as head coach of the Red Storm in Lavin’s absence.

Will the Red Storm respond in Lavin’s absence? Be heard in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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