Last week in Las Vegas, Pitino said that the 6'8 Palacios, who torn an MCL in his knee in mid-October, wasn't close to being ready to return to the court. Friday, Pitino sounded a more optimistic assessment about Palacios' return to the court.
"This Saturday will be seven weeks and they said six weeks to eight weeks," Pitino said. "So I would say by next week sometime he will start going through individual instruction. Then probably the following week he'll start practicing on a limited basis."
about Padgett's return this season.
Earlier this month, Pitino said that Palacios planned to return Dec. 15 against Purdue in the John Wooden Tradition in Indianapolis. If Palacios can return to practice on the timeline Pitino outlined Friday his return against the Boilermakers might be realistic.
Padgett, on the other hand, doesn't appear near healthy enough to return in the immediate future after fracturing his right knee cap Nov. 18 in the first half of action against Jackson State. Initially, Pitino expressed doubt that the 6'11 Padgett would be able to return this season.
Padgett, though, in an interview with the Courier-Journal earlier this week, provided some hope that he could return by January. Pitino, however, said Friday that such talk about Padgett's return this season was essentially useless speculation.
"He hasn't even stepped on the court," Pitino said. "I think we all need to put David Padgett on the back burner and not ask any more questions about him because it's all conjecture. He's not doing anything basketball-wise. It's silly to speculate because he's so far away. I think if you ask about Palacios at least you can see some tangible evidence that he will come back. But it's silly to ask about David Padgett and write stories about him because it's non-sense."
Pitino said that any prediction about Padgett's status is meaningless – at least for immediate future.
"I have no idea what is going to happen and neither does he," Pitino said. "In about six weeks time we'll talk about it."