December 19, 2012
Dieng still out, may miss UK game
Rick Pitino had hoped that Gorgui Dieng could return from his broken wrist for Wednesday night's game against FIU (3-4) in the KFC Yum! Center, but that's not going to happen.
In fact, the Louisville basketball coach said that his junior center will also miss the game against Western Kentucky in Nashville Saturday and may not be available when Kentucky visits on Dec. 29. Pitino said during his Monday afternoon press conference that Dieng probably won't see action until the No. 5/4 Cardinals' Big East Conference opener against Providence on Jan. 2 at home.
Dieng broke his left wrist UofL's 84-62 win over Missouri on Nov. 23 in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas.
"Gorgui's latest exam didn't go as well as my optimism was," Pitino said. "Probably the doctor's estimates, which are usually pretty conservative, are correct and it will be more than likely 4-to-6 weeks rather than the three weeks I was hoping.
"I was hoping to get him on the floor for Western, give him a little time prior to playing in the Kentucky game, but it doesn't look like that will happen. He is healing. This last x-ray we thought it would be healed, and it was not."
Pitino called the Providence game "a realistic goal" for Dieng.
"The good news is he's in great shape again," he added. "We have worked him really, really hard and he is using his left hand. We'll be a little conservative with this one by my standards, probably very liberal by doctors' standards."
On another injury front, Pitino said forward Stephan Van Treese still has practiced only on a limited basis due to a bruised knee, but could be used if needed against FIU. Van Treese has been one of the keys for Louisville's success during Dieng's absence, but he played just nine minutes in last Saturday's 87-78 victory at Memphis, with just two rebounds and three fouls.
Wednesday's game against FIU in the Billy Minardi Classic will pit Pitino against his son and former assistant coach for the first time. Richard, 30, replaced Isiah Thomas as FIU's coach this season. Pitino says he talks to his son several times a day and exchanges text messages with him at least 10 times a day.
"Our family right now is more apprehensive and nervous than Richard and me," Rick said. "We know what it's all about. We know it's a basketball game and we know the best team is going to win. Everybody else is on edge a little bit.
"I'm just real proud of him. But he's been taught when the ball goes up he's got to beat Louisville and I've got to beat FIU. We won't be looking at each other; we'll be focused in on beating each other. Then we're going to have a party afterwards in Billy Minardi's honor and we'll talk about the game and have a good time."
...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now for a FREE Trial