Rick Pitino says Kevin Ware likely won’t return to Louisville lineup until midseason

Louisville coach Rick Pitino doesn't expect to have injured guard Kevin Ware back in his rotation on game days until some time in the second semester, he told ESPN.

Ware suffered an ugly compound fracture of his lower right leg during an Elite Eight victory over Duke in the NCAA tournament. The injury already has become one of the iconic moments in tournament history not only because of how gruesome it was but also because of the way Ware's teammates and the Louisville community responded to it.

Pitino said Ware is nearly completely healed but he won't return to the basketball court until practices begin next month and then it will take him some time to polish his skills and get back into game-shape.

"I'm looking more like it's going to be second semester for him to be 100 percent or close to it," Pitino told ESPN.

The defending national champions will be deep and talented with much of last season's core group returning. The Cardinals should be able to navigate the first half of the season without Ware, whose return will be a boost toward a push for another high seed in the tournament.

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