Breaking News: Pitino to take leave of absence

Rick Pitino announced during an evening press conference that he will be taking a leave of absence due to health concerns.

Coach Rick Pitino will be taking a temporary leave of absence due to health concerns. He will head to the Cleveland Clinic Tuesday morning for further tests.

Long-time assistant Kevin Willard be fill in for Pitino during his absence.

LOUISVILLE, Ky - University of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino will take an indefinite medical leave of absence immediately to discover the cause of a pain in his left side.

Pitino will undergo tests at the Cleveland Clinic beginning Tuesday for a "urological related" pain.

"The good thing is that Jewish Hospital (in Louisville) has been taking good care of me and has ruled out prostate cancer and things of that nature," said Pitino. "I have been in excruciating pain the last three or four games and it's been almost unbearable to coach. It's getting worse day by day. I want to get this taken care of."

Pitino told his team prior to practice on Monday and ran practice as usual. He made the announcement at a news conference Monday evening.

"I went home last night after the game and was doubled over in pain. At first I thought it was the officiating and then I thought it was the game. I tried to rule out the obvious things like officiating, turnovers and lack of rotations defensively," he joked. "When you realize it's not that, it's not stress related and it's physically related, you need to get it taken care of."

The Cardinals, ranked No. 4 in both the latest Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls, are 15-1 and atop the Conference USA standings with a 5-0 record. Louisville plays Houston in Freedom Hall on Wednesday night. Sophomores Francisco Garcia (ankle injury) and Taquan Dean (groin injury) are doubtful for the Houston game.

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