HOOVER — Hip surgery didn’t send Nick Saban to the couch. It may have sent him back to the office, though.

Saban made his annual appearance at the Regions Tradition Pro-Am at Greystone Golf & Country Club. Hip replacement surgery meant he wouldn’t be playing in the tournament. His offseason has been occupied by other activities.

“I focus on work. I work all the time and golf that much of the time,” Saban said. “Recruiting is a big thing that’s going on right now, evaluations of the spring, next year’s opponents. It’s actually given me a little bit more time to do some of those things because I can’t really go out and play golf or do anything else.”

Saban said he can chip and putt at the moment, but expects it to take about six weeks from the date of his surgery in late April before he can make full swings and play.

There was almost no deceleration on the football front, though. Saban was back in the office on the second day after his surgery.

“That does not surprise me at all,” said Georgia coach Kirby Smart, a longtime Alabama assistant. “It disappoints me, actually, that it wasn’t one day. With him, I can recall a lot of times that no matter what’s going on around him, he’s got an uncanny ability to focus and concentrate. He enjoys what he does. He’s passionate about his work. A little hip surgery is not going to stop him.”

The layoff could scarcely have been more brief. He spent one night in the hospital after surgery. The next morning, he was at home. By afternoon he was in the office.

“I sat at home for six hours in a chair,” he said. “Miss Terry took the dogs to the lake and I was walking around in the yard. When she got back she said ‘I’m going call the doctor or the police, one or the other, if you don’t get back in the house.’ I just don’t sit still well.”

Saban walked around the clubhouse at Greystone without assistance or a golf cart before taking part in a putting contest. His recovery remains on schedule.

Saban’s rehab continues as he works with the medical staff. Alabama has published videos of Saban working with athletic trainer Jeff Allen. Former wide receiver Julio Jones has even helped out when he visited.

“They push you but they don’t want to push you into something that hurts you,” he said.

Reach Ben Jones at ben@tidesports.com or 205-722-0196.

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