LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville Coach Rick Pitino is taking an indefinite leave of absence because of an undetermined medical condition that has left him in agony.
"I have been in excruciating pain the last three or four games," Pitino said Monday. "It's getting worse day by day."
Pitino, 51, said the pain was "urological-related," and that he had been coaching with it for four to five months. He said doctors have ruled out prostate cancer, but they have yet to determine what is causing Pitino pain.
Louisville (15-1) is ranked fourth in this week's Associated Press Top 25.
Pitino said he did not know how many games he would miss. The Cardinals play host to Houston on Wednesday.
"It could be a couple of days, it could be a couple of weeks," Pitino said.
The Cardinals have won 15 straight games after a season-opening loss to Iowa. They beat Tennessee, 65-62, Sunday night.
"Last night, I was doubled over in pain," Pitino said.
Louisville Athletic Director Tom Jurich said Pitino told him about the pain during the last few weeks.
"I know he's been struggling. Last night it probably came to a head," Jurich said. "He wants to get this addressed."
Assistant Kevin Willard, who last week pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol, will coach the team in Pitino's absence. As a condition of his plea, Willard must undergo alcohol counseling.
Two years ago, Pitino spent a night in a hospital undergoing tests for an undisclosed illness. Pitino said at the time tests revealed nothing seriously wrong, and he was quickly back on the sidelines for the Cardinals.
Pitino, who won a national championship with Kentucky in 1996 and led Providence to the Final Four in 1987, is among the top 10 active college coaches in winning percentage.
He arrived in Louisville in March 2001 after 3 1/2 disappointing seasons in the NBA as coach of the Boston Celtics.