One main offensive weapon for the Panthers was not practicing with the team at the Pitt men's basketball practice on Tuesday - Durand Johnson. Johnson tore his ACL in early January in a game with Wake Forest and has not been cleared to practice. At first, many analysts pegged him to be out till December/January.
According to Greg Hotchkiss, the Pitt director of media relations, however, Johnson is expected to be cleared to resume full practice by the end of August. He added that he will be traveling with the team to their upcoming trip to the Bahamas but will obviously not play.
With that news, Hotchkiss added that Johnson is expected to be ready to play in the Panthers first game against Niagara on November 14. He may not play in any of the Panthers exhibition games nor the scrimmages, but the expectation is that he should be good to go for the start of the non-conference schedule.
Johnson's request for medical hardship was also rejected due to him playing in 15 of the team's 31 games last season. A player cannot play in more that 33 percent of the team's games in order to qualify.