Kevin Ware won't be rushed back

Updated: September 7, 2013, 5:37 PM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

[+] EnlargeKevin Ware
Streeter Lecka/Getty ImagesKevin Ware, who suffered a fractured tibia during the NCAA tournament, likely won't be "100 percent or close to it" until the second semester, Louisville coach Rick Pitino said Friday.

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Louisville coach Rick Pitino said Friday that Kevin Ware may not play until the second semester as he recovers 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.

Pitino, who will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday in Springfield, Mass., was at the Mohegan Sun Casino for pre-induction festivities.

"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."

Classes for Louisville's spring semester begin Jan. 6, 2014.

Louisville, which will play in the American Athletic Conference for one season before moving to the ACC in 2014-15, is expected to be ranked in the top five in the preseason with the return of Russ Smith, Final Four Most Outstanding Player Luke Hancock, Montrezl Harrell and one of the top junior college transfers in point guard Chris Jones. The Cardinals are deep at nearly every position but especially on the wing and don't need Ware to rush back onto the court.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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