Louisville guard Kevin Ware's return from a gruesome right leg injury suffered in the 2013 NCAA Tournament is back on hold, as Ware and coach Rick Pitino indicated he will take a medical redshirt, rather than try to return for the Cardinals' stretch run.
Pitino and Ware made the announcement prior to Louisville's Jan. 9 game against Memphis, per ESPN's Jeff Goodman. The 6'2" junior underwent an MRI earlier on Thursday, the results of which were not made public at this time.
Ware, who suffered a broken leg in Louisville's Elite Eight win over Duke in March, re-injured the same leg in December. He has not appeared in a game since a Dec. 17 victory over Missouri State and has played only sparing minutes in nine regular-season appearances.
While the official announcement didn't come until Thursday, the Cardinals had internally expected Ware to miss the rest of the season. Pitino indicated last month that the team's training staff was skeptical that Ware would be able to return in 2013-14.
"The trainer doesn't feel he can get back to the level that he was at [this season,]" Pitino said, per Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Eisenberg. "I think he will get back to where he was. It was a bad break, but it's not a Kobe [Bryant] situation with the Achilles or an ACL. It's just a bad break that needs time."
Ware's season finishes with averages of 1.7 points, 0.6 rebounds and 0.3 assists per game. He will have two years of eligibility remaining and is expected to be a part of the Cardinals' future. Though never a star, Ware was a solid, consistent bench contributor before going down with the leg injury, averaging 16.6 minutes per game for the defending national champs.
Despite losing many players from that title squad, Pitino has done an excellent job of keeping the Cardinals in the hunt. Louisville was ranked No. 12 in the country by the Associated Press heading into Week 10 with a 13-2 record.
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