Jared Swopshire wasn't expected on the court for the Louisville basketball team until early December. Now, UofL head coach Rick Pitino says he doesn't expect the 6'7 junior forward to return "anytime soon" for the Cardinals.
Swopshire definitely will be out of commission when UofL plays their first exhibition game Sunday against Northern Kentucky, and Pitino sounded a frustrated tone Thursday during his pre-game press conference at the slow progress Swopshire has made with his recovery.
“The only negative so far this season has been the fact that Jared Swopshire has not gotten any better at all,” Pitino said. “We're stuck in mud right now. He's not getting any better. It's frustrating.”
Previously, Pitino had expressed hope that Swopshire would be able to return to action the first of December. Pitino said that surgery is not an option for Swopshire, who suffers from an abductor injury most common among hockey players.
“Fred [Hina], our trainer, is frustrated. We're frustrated,” Pitino said. “It's been going on eight weeks right now and there has not been any significant improvement. The muscle has torn away from the bone and it's never going to grow back. Any time he walks the pain is there on the bone. It's very uncomfortable. It would be like a groin injury. You feel it every time you take it a stride.”
The only returning starter from the Cardinals 20-13 team that lost in the NCAA Tournament first round, Swopshire is Louisville's leading returning scorer and rebounder. Without Swopshire available, Pitino likely will start Rakeem Buckles and Kyle Kuric at forward against Northern Kentucky.
“There is no prognosis on this,” Pitino said. “It's almost like a hockey injury. He got it running with his dad this summer. That's probably where it broke away from the bone.”
“My guess is he's not coming back any time soon,” Pitino added. “We've tried everything and nothing seems to be working.”
In other injury-related news, Pitino also said that Stephen Van Treese is back to practice full speed after injuring his ankle last Thursday and Elisha Justice, who fractured ribs last week, will practice beginning Friday.
Pitino also announced that Preston Knowles has been named captain of the 2010-11 team.