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Louisville’s Chane Behanan returns to practice, but no word on a return to game action

Nov 8, 2013, 4:16 PM EDT

Louisville's Behanan fouls Oregon's Carter as he goes to the basket during their Midwest Regional NCAA men's basketball game in Indianapolis Reuters

When Louisville junior forward Chane Behanan was suspended indefinitely last month, many wondered just how long Behanan would be away from the program. Head coach Rick Pitino originally stated that a return didn’t look “probable” but the stance has softened some recently.

Behanan will participate in the pregame ceremony honoring last season’s national champion squad tomorrow afternoon, and on Friday it was reported that the Cincinnati native has been allowed to return to practice. And in announcing the decision, Pitino noted the progress that Behanan’s shown since the suspension was announced.

“We said he had to go 30 days straight with no mess-ups before he could practice and he’s done that,” he said. “I didn’t think he could do the right thing for 30 days in a row — getting up, coming over here at 6:45 in the morning, meeting curfew at night, getting through tutoring all day. I was a doubting Thomas, to say the least, but he’s done all the right things.”

Behanan’s status is a key question that the Cardinals need to answer as they look to become the first repeat national champion since Florida pulled off the feat in 2006 and 2007. Montrezl Harrell is a player many expect to enjoy a breakout sophomore campaign, and senior Stephen Van Treese gives Louisville valuable experience, but the Cardinals don’t have a great amount of depth inside.

If Behanan can continue to take care of business off the court, his return will certainly help Louisville in this regard. How much longer will Behanan have to wait before he can return to game action remains to be seen, but with today’s development Behanan seems to be closer to doing so.

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