Louisville junior guard Kevin Ware may not play until the second semester according to head coach Rick Pitino on Sept. 6.Ware is still recovering from a from a gruesome compound fracture of his right leg that he suffered in the first half of an Elite Eight victory over Duke in March in Indianapolis.
"I don't think Kevin will step on the court early in the season," Pitino told ESPN.com. "He will just start playing basketball in October. He'll start working out. He's almost completely healed, but he hasn't stepped on the court since last March, so it's going to take some time. I'm looking more like it's going to be second semester for him to be 100 percent or close to it."
Ware averaged 4.5 points and 1.8 rebounds in 16.6 minutes of action last season but he was playing his best ball in the month prior to his injury. He scored nine points, on 3-of-3 shooting from the field, in the Cardinals 78-61 victory over Syracuse in the Big East Conference championship. Ware also contributed11 points, on 5-of-7 shooting from the floor, versus Oregon in a NCAA Sweet 16 Tournament game.
Louisville is expected to be one of the best teams in the nation this year. The Cards are deep at nearly every position as they return eight letterwinners, including three starters, and have brought in seven newcomers. Senior Russ Smith, senior Luke Hancock, sophomore Montrezl Harrell, junior Wayne Blackshear and junior Chane Behannan leads the returnees. Smith led the squad with 18.7 points a game and Hancock was named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player.
Junior college transfer Chris Jones along with freshmen Anton Gill and Terry Rozier are the top newcomers.
Louisville will play one season in the American Athletic Conference before moving onto the ACC in 2014-15. The Cardinals are 310-111 under Pitino.