LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Rick Pitino wouldn't say what caused him
to take a two-day medical leave, but the Louisville coach said
Friday that there was nothing seriously wrong with him.
"There is a diagnosis to it all, but it's really not worth
going into," Pitino said. "All I can say is this will not take
away from me coaching Louisville for another eight or 10 years.
I've got a clean bill of health."
The 51-year-old Pitino rejoined his team Thursday after two days
of tests at the Cleveland Clinic probed the cause of a
"urological-related" pain that has persisted in his left side for
months. Pitino announced Tuesday that the source of the pain was
not cancer-related or life-threatening.
"I know what I don't have, but I had to have answers," Pitino
said of his visit to the clinic.
But Pitino said he was still feeling discomfort.
"I have a few minor problems that are causing the pain, but
we'll get through it," Pitino said. "I think I'll be fine."
Pitino first noticed the pain while playing golf with friends
last August. He put off treatment for three months, then finally
went for tests at Louisville's Jewish Hospital. He said doctors
there ruled out prostate and bladder cancer, but still gave him "a
little bit of a scare."
Pitino cited several reasons for going to the Cleveland Clinic --
to protect his privacy, to address the condition quickly and to
avoid the temptation of coaching his team.
"I had to get away," he said. "I didn't have the time to drag
this out the whole season. I felt it was going to drag out another
two or three weeks. I couldn't do that mentally or physically."
Pitino said he received several messages from fellow coaches. On
Tuesday, he got a phone message from Utah coach Rick Majerus,
who announced Wednesday he was retiring at the end of the season
after experiencing chest pains.
"The message was that his best friend is one of the best
diagnostic doctors in the world and if I need him, to call him and
he'd be more than happy to set it up," Pitino said. "He just went
on and on about trying to help me. We're a big fraternity, all of
us. We all put the competitiveness aside when it comes to health
Pitino and his wife, Joanne, flew to the clinic Monday and
returned home Wednesday -- in time to watch the fourth-ranked
Cardinals beat Houston 64-48. Assistant coach Kevin Willard ran the
team in Pitino's absence.
Pitino's son, Michael, who attended the news conference on
Friday, said his father paced and yelled at the television during
"That was terrible," Michael Pitino said. "We sat down and he
said, 'I've never been more nervous before a game in my entire
life.' He was pretty stressed out."
Pitino ran Louisville's practice Thursday afternoon and worked
into the evening, sports information director Kenny Klein said.
"I'm going back full-bore," Pitino said. "If there are some
little, lingering problems at the end of the season, I'll take care
of it. I'm going to coach a long time, just because I love it."
The Cardinals (16-1, 6-0 Conference USA) go for their 17th
consecutive victory against Marquette (12-5, 3-3) on Saturday at
Pitino said Garcia was questionable and Dean definitely would
not play against the Golden Eagles.