Palacios' rehab to take longer than expected

Unfortunately, reports that Louisville sophomore forward Juan "Tello" Palacios' injury was little more than a sprained ankle have proven false.

In fact, Cardinals coach Rick Pitino confirmed during Thursday's media day events that the 6-foot-8, 255-pound Palacios' injury was much more serious.

"He tore every ligament in his ankle," Pitino said.

While Pitino said that 6-11 David Padgett, who also injured his foot this summer, would likely return "sometime next week," the fifth-year U of L coach couldn't give a specific timeline for Palacios' return to action.

"Tello is going to (return) a little later than expected," said Pitino, who told a crowd last Friday that Palacios would return in about a month. "Tello will probably not see serious action in terms of starting until maybe the Big East. Even Fred (Hina) doesn't know how to answer when he'll be back."

Palacios said his ankle is slowly recovering.

"It's doing OK," Palacios said of the ankle. "It's making progress slowly. I'm not sure if I'll be ready for the first game, but I'll just keep working on it every day."

Palacios isn't able to practice with team, and his workout regimen has been extremely limited since the injury.

"I'm able to dribble a little bit, shoot a couple of shots from elbow to elbow, and play a little bit of defense," he explained. "But I'm not ready to practice with the team yet."

Palacios hurt his ankle during a pickup game earlier this summer. Interstingly, the injury occured during a break away with no one else near Palacios.

"When I came down, my foot was facing the other way," said Palacios, noting that his foot was in fact dislocated from its normal position.

And even though he can't practice with his teammates yet, Palacios seemed to be in good spirits about his setback.

"I never think why me," Palacios said. "Injuries happen, the thing is how you deal with them. I realize I'm way behind everybody in conditioning."

"It's tough for me to see everybody playing and getting better, but it makes me happy because we're a team," added Palacios. "At the same time I would like to be playing and getting better with the team also."

Palacios said he felt that he was in the shape of his life when the injury occured. Now, he's just ready to get back on the court and get back to working hard.

"It puts me behind and it's going to be a lot of hard work trying to catch up to everybody," Palacios said.


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