"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.
"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."