While the 6'6 forward won't be on the court in Louisville's first exhibition game Saturday afternoon against Georgetown (KY) or against Northern Kentucky Nov. 8, he will almost certainly be on the court when the Cardinals open the regular season against Morehead State Nov. 22 in the Billy Minardi Classic.
"He's about a week away from practicing and looks great," Pitino said. "I won't play him in the Northern Kentucky game. What we'll do is put him into drills, get him actively involved and put him in a lot of non-contact things for a week. And after the exhibition game I think he'll be ready to go."
Andre McGee said Williams is chomping at the bit to get back on the court with the team.
"He's always on the court shooting around and begging our trainer Fred Hina to let him play," McGee said. "He tells me it's not really swelling much so that's always a good sign. He'll be back in no time."
"We miss him a lot," added McGee. "He's so vocal and such a leader. He gets everybody to step their level of play up just by his presence."
Williams averaged 11.1 points, 7. 2 rebounds and 4.4. assists as a junior. He was selected as a team captain for the 2008-09 and is expected to provide leadership for a team that will rely on several newcomers this season.
"He understands what makes a team get to a great level," Pitino said.
NOTE Louisville opened the season ranked No. 3 in the first USA Today/ESPN poll which was released on Thursday.