Pitino eager for Palacios' return

Rick Pitino is concerned about a lack of depth at both forward positions. With the recent news about George Goode's status and the injury to Juan Palacios, Pitino has been forced to use assistant Walter McCarty in practice. That's why the Louisville coach is hopeful the 6'8 Palacios will return to action soon.

Rick Pitino is concerned about a lack of depth at both forward positions. With the recent news about George Goode's status and the injury to Juan Palacios, Pitino has been forced to use assistant Walter McCarty in practice. That's why the Louisville coach is hopeful the 6'8 Palacios will return to action soon.

"We need him," Pitino said on his call-in radio program. "We're a good team right now. In order for us to be a very good to great basketball team we need him. We started the season having great depth. Right now we have suspect depth in certain areas. One is the power forward spot the other is the small forward spot. Tello was going to back up Earl Clark as well as T-Will.


Pitino expects Palacios to return
next month.
Palacios, who torn the MCL in his right knee in mid October, should be able to return to the court next month.

"I think he's about three weeks away from playing," Pitino said. "He is healing well, not as slow as he normally heals. He is healing on time so to speak. We think we will get him back sometime in mid December."

Once he returns, Pitino says he'll be able to return to game shape relatively quickly.

"We think by the start of the Big East schedule he should be ready to go," Pitino said.

PITINO HIGH ON RECRUITING CLASS

Though the early signing period begins today, Rick Pitino likely won't announce his 2008 recruiting class until Thursday or Friday. Pitino, who expects to sign four players in what analysts have rated a Top 5 class, said Tuesday night that he was excited about the class that he'll sign this week.

"Stevie Mass and my son Richard have done a fabulous job getting us in with some of the better players in the country," Pitino said. "I'm very excited about this recruiting class. We needed to have a big-time recruiting class because of everything we're going to lose this year."


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