David Padgett returns to practice

David Padgett returned to practice Friday for the first time since fracturing his knee cap in a Nov. 18 win over Jackson State.

David Padgett returned to practice Friday for the first time since fracturing his knee cap in a Nov. 18 win over Jackson State.

"He'll practice a little bit today for the first time – but non-contact practice. Then he'll do a little bit more each day," Rick Pitino said.

Padgett played in Louisville's first two games and averaged 9.5 points and 3.5 rebounds. In his absence, the Cardinals have lost three non-conference games and the team has clearly missed the 6'11 senior's leadership, experience and passing ability.

"David told us that he will be back as soon as he feels that he can impact the team in a positive way," Pitino said. "He doesn't want to hurt the team. So when he feels that he's in shape to help the team he'll come back. When that is is strictly up to him."

A second-team All-Big East selection as a junior, Padgett will likely return to the court during the next two weeks or so, though Pitino warns that he likely won't be a major factor until later in the season.

"He's been swimming in the pool and working on weights with his leg and he couldn't bend his leg for three weeks. Somewhere around February he'll be a good basketball player," Pitino said.


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