An emotional Kevin Ware was speaking out in his first round of television interviews for the first time since his injury on Sunday night, thanking fans for their support and promised he would do his best to return to the court.
Kevin Ware, 20, said he will travel to the Final Four on his crutches and expects to be a big presence for the Cardinals on the team bench as they take on Wichita State on Saturday.
Cleared by doctors to accompany the team to Atlanta, the Louisville guard said he plans to be a full participant in the team’s preparation for the game.
Kevin Ware admitted to a gaggle of reporters at the university that he did not know Louisville had gone on to win the game until he woke up on Monday morning, with the NCAA trophy by his side.
Kevin Ware admitted to a gaggle of reporters at the university that he did not know Louisville had gone on to win the game until he woke up on Monday morning, with the NCAA trophy by his side
Speaking of the moment of the injury, he told ESPN: “I honestly didn’t feel pain. It was more shock. I’ve never felt anything like that.”
Donning a “Win it for Kevin” team shirt, Kevin Ware said the overwhelming support he has received has helped him maintain his spirits and strengthened his confidence of a full recovery.
He hopes by next season to be helping the Cardinals defend the national championship he believes they’ll win this weekend.
The normally reserved Kevin Ware calmly recalled how he felt when he suffered the devastating injury, saying he doesn’t think Louisville would be in the Final Four if he had lost his composure.
Kevin Ware told reporters during a press conference that he had no prior problems with his leg before the horrific injury, which forced six inches of his leg bone to break through his skin.
He told reporters: “When I went to contest the shot, it was like I always do. I guess I just landed wrong and I didn’t see where I was landing.”
While the injury may have gotten Kevin Ware worldwide attention – and more than 100,000 new Twitter followers – he says he never stopped thinking about his fellow Cardinals.
“Nothing like seeing my teammates. We’re brothers and I wouldn’t trade these guys in for anything in the world.”
Kevin Ware has been released from the hospital today while doctors have speculated that he may have been injured before a routine jump left six inches of bone sticking out of his leg.
The Louisville’s basketballer tweeted a photo of him walking out of Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis while on crutches, telling his 80,000-plus followers: “Back to my brothers I go.”
Kevin Ware’s release comes just two days after the gruesome broken leg he suffered during Sunday night’s NCAA tournament game against Duke.
Kevin Ware’s release comes just two days after the gruesome broken leg he suffered during Sunday night’s NCAA tournament game against Duke
Several doctors have floated the possibility that Kevin Ware’s injury was the result of an earlier fracture that he may or may not have known about.
Dr. Rajeev Pandarinath, an orthopedic surgeon at George Washington University Hospital, told the Associated Press that Kevin Ware may have had a stress fracture in the bone before his devastating fall.
He said: “A stress fracture, if you keep playing on it, can lead to a real fracture.”
Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, echoed Dr. Rajeev Panarinath’s assessment.
“He came down hard, landing in an awkward way. That, combined with an underlying bone issue or an existing stress fracture, predisposes someone to this type of injury,” he told ABC News.
Dr. Rajeev Pandarinath also cast doubt on Kevin Ware’s future in basketball, saying: “I believe this is somewhat of a career-threatening injury.
“Even if his bone heals well, the question is will he be able to regain the strength in his muscle to make him be able to jump and have the athletic ability that he had before, and that’s the big question mark. And we won’t know for 9-12 months whether he’s able to come back to basketball.”
Louisville coach Rick Pitino rejected such medical theories, saying there was “nothing prior”.
“Basically his leg went one way and his shoe went another and the bone split. There’s no preexisting thing that makes it do that,” Rick Pitino said.
University of Louisville basketball player Kevin Ware has suffered a horrific leg fracture that left the bone in his right leg protruding on live TV during NCAA Tournament game Louisville-Duke on Sunday night.
Kevin Ware, 20, jumped high in the air to block a three-point shot when he landed badly on the leg as he crashed to the court.
Teammates and Coach Rick Pinoto were in tears as kevin Ware screamed with pain and writhed on the court.
Kevin Ware has suffered a horrific leg fracture that left the bone in his right leg protruding on live TV during NCAA Tournament game
An official told several reporters that a bone snapped. Trainers immediately covered the leg with a towel and placed Kevin Ware on a backboard, then lifted him onto a stretcher.
CBS reported that Kevin Ware whispered encouragement to his team as he was carried away: “Don’t worry about me. I’ll be OK. Go win this thing.”
Kevin Ware’s teammates responded to the shock of his loss by returning to the court with a vengeance. The second half of the game saw Louisville dominate Duke – clobbering the Blue Devils 85-63.
Louisville will play Wichita State in the Final Four next weekend. The winner of that game plays for the NCAA men’s basketball championship.
His teammates held up a jersey with Kevin Ware’s name as they celebrated their resounding victory.
Silence fell over Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, where the Elite Eight game was being played, as horrified fans waited for news of Kevin Ware’s condition.
The injury occurred with 6:33 left in the first half as Duke’s Tyler Thornton made a 3-pointer to get the Blue Devils within 21-20. Kevin Ware tried to contest the shot and his leg buckled when he landed, bending gruesomely.
The injury happened in front of the Louisville bench, and the Cardinals were overcome with emotion.
Russ Smith collapsed onto the floor, along with several players, and was clearly crying as doctors attended to Kevin Ware.
As Kevin Ware was being loaded onto a stretcher, the Cardinals gathered at midcourt until coach Rick Pitino called them over, saying that Ware wanted to talk to them before he left.
Rick Pitino wiped away his eyes as Kevin Ware was wheeled out, as did several of the Louisville players.
Former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann, who famously sustained a broken leg during a Monday night football game against the New York Giants, tweeted: “Watching Duke/ Louisville my heart goes out to Kevin Ware.”
Kevin Ware, a native of the Bronx, New York, is a sophomore guard who has become a force on the number-one-ranked Cardinals team during the NCAA Tournament.
ESPN.com reports he could undergo surgery tonight at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.
Team officials say Kevin Ware’s pain is “under control”.