It’s been less than 24 hours since Kevin Ware suffered one of the most horrific sports injuries in recent memory, but the Louisville guard is already talking about getting back on the basketball court.
“This is a minor setback for a major comeback,” Ware told the New York Daily News on Monday from his hospital bed in Indianapolis. “I have to have the right approach to it. They told me things are gonna be good for me. This is not a lifetime injury where I can never play basketball again.”
Near the end of the first half of Sunday’s Elite Eight game against Duke, Ware leaped to block a shot and came down awkwardly on his left leg. Though he says he did not initially feel any pain, the severity of the injury was apparent after seeing the reactions of his teammates and coach Rick Pitino.
“I jumped and my leg felt kind of funny,” Ware told ESPN.com. “When Coach P tried to help me up, he gave me a funny kind of look. I’m looking at him and then I look down and I see my bone sticking out. It wasn’t a hurt feeling. I just went into shock. In the moment, you don’t know what’s wrong with you. You’re just looking, thinking, ‘How did this happen?’ I never watched the replay. I never want to.”
Ware said his thoughts immediately went to his teammates, many of whom fell to the court in varying states of distress. He urged them to not worry about him and focus on the game, which they did, overwhelming the Blue Devils in the second half to earn a trip to the Final Four in Ware’s home city of Atlanta.
For an injury that was being described by many as a definite career-ender in the immediate aftermath, Ware appears to be recovering remarkably quickly. His rehabilitation time will undoubtedly be extensive, but the surgery to repair his broken tibia reportedly went off without a hitch Sunday night, and Louisville sports information director Kenny Klein posted a photo on Twitter of Ware already walking with crutches. As of Monday afternoon, it had been retweeted 5,300 times.
Ware hopes to be discharged from the hospital on Tuesday and — by all accounts — will be on the bench with the Cardinals when they take on Wichita State on Saturday.
Photo via Twitter/@KKCards