"He's back but he's just going through dummy work," Pitino said Thursday afternoon. "Today was his first day going full tilt with individual instruction."
Williams was injured during a pickup game Oct. 14 and was expected to miss 4-6 weeks. His return to the court has been a speedy one.
"Remember how we used to say Tello was the slowest healer on earth, T-Will's the opposite," said Pitino. "T-Will was ready to play about a week ago. But obviously there's no reason for him to play (Saturday vs. Northern Kentucky University). We need to get the other two guys ready so we're going to be a little cautious with T-Will and just put him through individuals….
Pitino wants to make sure Williams' conditioning is on track before he returns to the rigors of practice full-time.
"What happens is if you're not ready to play from a cardiovascular standpoint you can hurt something else," Pitino said. "His knee is fine to play. But when you're conditioning is not there something else could go."
"He could definitely play in this game (NKU) if we need him to and if it were a regular game we would but we'll start him practicing in terms of defense on Sunday," Pitino said.
Pitino also said that freshman Kyle Kuric returned to individual instruction Thursday for the first time since landing wrong after a dunk and injuring his leg last Saturday in the exhibition game against Georgetown.
Smith getting into shape
Shortly after practice began, Rick Pitino praised junior guard Jerry Smith for "consistently looking good in practice." But Smith went 0 for 10 from three-point range in the Red-White game and scored just six points in 23 minutes in the exhibition against Georgetown.
"He had his best practice yesterday," Pitino said. "I think certain guys have great summers. Jerry did not have a great summer when it came to basketball. He came in out of shape and overweight and now he's down."
Pitino said he still wants Smith to lose a few more pounds before the season opener Nov. 22 against Morehead State.
"Coach Kragthorpe came up and said they need another Jerome Bettis type of running back and they were looking at Jerry seriously," Piitno joked. "But now he's back into good shape and he's got about three or four more pounds to get back to where we want him to be. And then he'll be ready to go."
Pitino said Smith came in about 10 or 15 pounds overweight but has lost about 10 pounds since practice started. "It's really not a big deal," said Pitino. "He's only got 3 or 4 more pounds to go."