LEXINGTON - Before he knew that Louisville coach Rick Pitino would likely be able to return to work later this week, Bill Keightley had a unique way of describing his reaction to Pitino's medical leave of absence.
"Illness will make a monkey eat a red pepper," Keightley, UK's long-time basketball equipment manager, said. "Sometimes we don't have much choice. You are always surprised and sorry when anyone becomes ill. We know he's sick, or he would not take off.
"But Rick will be fine, believe me. He's got great coverage out of this. I'm sorry he's sick and I've already sent him a little note. But he's a tough guy. He'll be fine."
Pitino's health was on a lot of minds at Kentucky Tuesday after he abruptly announced Monday that he was taking an indefinite leave because of a "urological problem" that was keeping him in pain.