Padgett Could Return To Cards In January

Injured Louisville center David Padgett has been cleared to work out and could be back when the Cardinals face West Virginia next month, coach Rick Pitino said Monday.

Pitino updated Padgett's condition on his web site, Pitino wrote that the clearance came Sunday. Padgett's return would be "A much needed boost in helping us play fundamental basketball," Pitino wrote.

Padgett, who fractured his right knee in a win over Jackson State on Nov. 18, was expected to miss up to 10 weeks and possibly the entire season.

The fifth-year senior banged the knee in practice in November and hit it again as he tried to draw a charging foul during No. 6 Louisville's 84-53 win over Jackson State. Pitino initially said the injury appeared to be a bruise.

Padgett has had a history of injuries but began this season pain-free and moving as well as he had since transferring from Kansas after his freshman year.

The Reno, Nev., High graduate broke his foot in a pickup game a month before his sophomore season, then sprained a ligament in his left knee two months later. He underwent surgery on both knees in March 2006 and didn't play for five months.

The Cardinals (7-3) play Morehead State on Wednesday.

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