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Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Updated: November 9, 9:26 AM ET
Steve Lavin at St. John's practice

By Kieran Darcy
ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- St. John's basketball coach Steve Lavin returned to practice on Tuesday for the first time since undergoing prostate cancer surgery on Oct. 6.

Lavin missed the team's regular season opener on Monday night, a 74-59 win over William & Mary. It is still undecided whether Lavin will coach the team's next game, Wednesday night versus Lehigh.

"I'm definitely feeling closer to full strength, and eager for a return to the sidelines," Lavin said in a statement released by the school Tuesday. "I've been pleased with the progress made by our young team. During this period of recuperating, (assistant) Coach (Mike) Dunlap and the staff have worked in an impressive, collaborative manner to prepare our team for the challenges ahead."

Lavin added that's he's been staying in contact with the coaches and players and has been monitoring the team's progress by watching DVDs of practices and games.

"Naturally we still have much to do in terms of implementing our system and style of play, but the effort from this team has been outstanding," he said.

Lavin's surgery was deemed "a success" by the coach in a statement released by the school, and the coach has been consulting with his doctor daily about when to return to the team.

This is Lavin's second season at St. John's. He led the Red Storm to a 21-12 record and their first NCAA tournament bid since 2002.

Only one player from last season's team returned but Lavin put together an impressive nine-man recruiting class. However, three of those players were ruled ineligible for the fall semester.

Kieran Darcy is a staff writer for ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.