No team in the country had to deal with more injury problems than did Louisville.
Mike Marra and Stephen Van Treese suffered season-ending knee injuries early in the year. Rakeem Buckles, who missed nine of the first ten games of the season while recovering from a torn ACL that he suffered in 2010-2011, tore the ACL in his other knee in January and will be out until 2013-2014. Wayne Blackshear’s shoulder problems, which included a torn labrum, kept him out of the lineup until the final month and a half of the season. Jared Swopshire never did (and probably never will) fully recover from a devastating groin injury that kept him out of the 2010-2011 season. Peyton Siva dealt with ankle and concussion issues that kept him from practicing. Kyle Kuric missed games with a high-ankle sprain. Hell, Russ Smith was even held out of a game while dealing with a stiff neck from sleeping on it wrong.
The worst part? 2011-2012 wasn’t all that much worse that the injury issues that Rick Pitino’s club had to deal with in 2010-2011.
And, apparently, it’s not over yet.
The rumors had been circulating for a few days, but at a press conference to announce the hiring of a new assistant coach, Pitino also made it know that small forward Luke Hancock would miss a few months thanks to a shoulder injury he suffered during a pick up game. Generally speaking, this wouldn’t be a huge issue, as Hancock will be ready to go by mid-August, but that will mean that after sitting out for an entire season due to his transfer, Hancock will be forced to take the summer off from working out and playing with his teammates.
Did I mention that he is a team captain?
And as if that wasn’t enough, Louisville found out after the game against Kentucky in the Final Four that star center Gorgui Dieng had been battling a consussion.
The Cardinal trainers certainly have earned their pay.