Dieng not expected to return until Jan. 2

Gorgui Dieng

University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino started his Tuesday news conference with an injury update. The Cardinals will play Florida International on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in the KFC Yum! Center.

University of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino said center Gorgui Dieng's latest trip to the doctor didn't come with good news.

Pitino, who had hoped Dieng would return on Saturday from a broken left wrist, said the junior All-American likely won't return until Jan. 2 against Providence.

"Gorgui's latest exam with the doctor didn't go as well as my optimism was," Pitino said. "There's nothing setting him back. But it will be more than likely 4-6 weeks, rather than the three I was hoping for.

"The last X-ray we thought it would be healed, and it was not."

Dieng, who broke the wrist against Missouri in the Battle 4 Atlantis last month, participated in warmups last Saturday at Memphis. He has been going through some individual workouts and conditioning.

Pitino said Jan. 2 – the Big East Conference opener – "is the realistic goal. The good news is he is in great shape again. We'll be a little conservative with this one, conservative by my standards but not y the doctors."

Senior center Stephan Van Treese will be used "sparingly" against FIU after playing just nine minutes against Memphis. Van Treese has a bruise under his knee cap and needs some rest.

When asked about Russ Smith's ankle injury that occurred during the first half of the Memphis game, Pitino said "Russ is a faker."

"If he was playing great, Russ would not have limped off the court," Pitino said with a laugh. "You guys just buy that stuff – I know him very well."

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