LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- University of Louisville center Gorgui Dieng still has some healing to do on his broken left wrist. Cardinals coach Rick Pitino had hoped he would be ready to play by this Saturday's game in Nashville against Western Kentucky, but now says Dieng may yet be out for a while.
"The doctors' estimates, which are usually very conservative, are probably correct and it will be more than likely 4-6 weeks (missed) than the three weeks I'd hoped for," Pitino said Tuesday. "I was hoping to get him on the court for Western, get him a little time and play him in the Kentucky game, and it doesn't look like that's going to happen."
Pitino said Dieng is healing, and that his earlier more optimistic reports were based on an X-ray that showed the surgically repaired wrist mostly healed. But a more recent X-ray performed this week showed that the scaphoid bone in his left wrist still has not healed completely.
Dieng's replacement, Stephan Van Treese, also is ailing. He was limited to nine minutes in Saturday's win over Memphis with a bruised knee, and has practiced only sparingly this week. Pitino said he'd be used in Wednesday's game against Florida International only if needed.
Pitino said the Cards have missed Dieng particularly on the defensive end. Dieng was No. 2 on the team in rebounds and No. 2 in assists when he went down with the injury after a victory over Missouri in the Bahamas on Nov. 23.
"We have not been as good a defensive team since Gorgui has gone down. It's not just the blocking of shots, but the altering of shots. And he's a very smart defensive player. . . . The good news is he's in great shape again. We've worked him really, really hard. He is using his left hand, obviously, with a soft cast on his hand. But we'll be a little conservative with this one -- or conservative by my standards."
Dieng is averaging 8.2 points and eight rebounds per game. Pitino said a Big East game against Providence on Jan. 2 would be a "realistic goal" for Dieng's return, though it all depends on how quickly the last bit of healing on his wrist will go.