Louisville guard Kevin Ware has begun his road to recovery in the wake of suffering one of the most gruesome injuries you will ever see in sports. The sophomore is a long way away from playing basketball again, but he has undergone successful surgery and already begun moving around on crutches. The amazing amount of support he has received has undoubtedly helped accelerate the process.
Ware told the Courier-Journal that he received phone calls in the hospital from Dwight Howard and Charles Barkley, who lent words of encouragement. He also got a visit from NCAA President Mark Emmert and browsed through hundreds of tweets from pro athletes like Michael Bush, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Rajon Rondo.
“I’ve never had this much support in my life,” Ware said. “Like, I’m just so grateful for it, you know?”
Ware said that just being able to move around — even if it is with his leg in a cast and on crutches — brought his spirits up. After his body went into shock when he saw his bone sticking through his skin, he said the only thing on his mind was making sure his teammates won the game.
“And that made me just go into Kevin mode,” he explained. “I just told Luke (Hancock), ‘I’m good. Just win this game.’ I just kept repeating that. I got louder and louder, and Russ was there and I’m pulling their jerseys, trying to get in their face like, ‘Y’all got to win this game.’ When they took me off the court, I heard so many cheers, and I’m like ‘When I’m out of surgery, there’s gonna be some good news.’”
There was indeed very good news, as Louisville dominated Duke to advance to the Final Four. Ware said he didn’t remember his teammates putting the Midwest Regional trophy in his hospital bed with him because he was so heavily medicated after surgery. However, the memories came back the next morning when the trophy was still sitting next to him.
Assuming his leg does not become infected, Ware should be released from the hospital on Tuesday and there’s a good chance he’ll be able to join his teammates in Atlanta. Having him on the sidelines could give the Cardinals a shot in the arm that they may not even need.