"I think we'll really miss him come the Arizona game because of the speed of that game," Pitino said. "The next two opponents are both very good but they don't play like Arizona where you need the speed of Andre McGee at the point."
McGee played in both of the Cardinals games last weekend, scoring 16 points and playing a key role in Louisville's second half, 100-87 comeback win over Northwestern State on Saturday.
"He had a large cartilage tear," Pitino said. "He had swelling on it, but didn't know he had done anything to it. He just stuck his leg out trying to block a ball and it felt funny, but he played in the game. The next day it swelled up, Fred Hina didn't like the looks of it and he did an MRI."
Pitino has had experience with this sort of knee injury. In 1987 while coaching at Providence, guard Carlton Screen suffered a similar cartilage tear during the Big East Tournament and returned to play for Pitino's Friars three weeks later against Syracuse in the Final Four. Following his surgery Tuesday, U of L team doctors said McGee would return in 3-6 weeks. "We're definitely going to miss (Andre)," Pitino said. "It's a big loss for us."
McGee's absence means that freshman point guard Edgar Sosa will now assume greater responsibilities in the backcourt. "We just got a little bit younger at the point," Pitino said. "Edgar will have to start. Who we'll back him up with I'm not sure."
Normally, Pitino could turn to Brandon Jenkins to run the point, but like McGee, the 6-2 senior is still recovering from an off-season injury. Senior guard Brad Gianiny also will see some minutes in the backcourt with McGee out of action.
"He's going to be back in a short period of time where he's back to the old B.J. – probably early December," Pitino said. "It won't be for this game, but that's our options."
Pitino hopes the 6-2 Sosa, a talented offensive player, can pick things up on defense until McGee returns to the court.
"Offensively, he's a good basketball player," Pitino said. "He struggles a little bit with defense and that's where Andre would have been a big help because he's a pretty good defensive player."