Kevin Ware reflects as recovery process begins
Kevin Ware’s compound fracture of his lower right leg in Louisville’s 85-63 win over Duke on Sunday has to be right up there with the most gruesome in all of sports. You would need a stomach made of iron to bear watching the replays of the bizarre incident, and even then you’ll still be queasy.
But apparently the person least bothered by the injury at first was the man on the ground with the bone sticking out of his leg. Ware said he did not know the extent of his own injury initially, and when he went down his first thought was that he had tweaked his ankle. Then, when the shock wore off slightly, he said he realized it was something much more serious.
What might be most troubling about Ware’s injury, though, is that it occurred in a play Ware had executed countless times. Why should it now end in a gruesome injury? The thought is that Ware suffered from a repeated weakening of his legs through a series of minor stress fractures and then it all came apart in one instant.
“He came down hard, landing in an awkward way,” Dr. Robert Glatter of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York told Neporent. “That, combined with an underlying bone issue or an existing stress fracture, predisposes someone to this type of injury.”
An emotional Ware gave an interview with ESPN just days after his injury and surgery Sunday. In the interview, Ware revealed how he felt during the game and after his injury. Ware seemed accepting of what had happened; when it comes to injuries, there is not much an athlete can do other than just try to recover as quickly as possible.
“It’s just one of those things where if it was going to happen it was going to happen” Ware said in an interview with ESPN.
Towards the middle of the interview, the emotions came out as Ware started to tear up when he recalled his thoughts immediately after the injury.
“I just wanted to know that we were going to win this game… that was the only thing going through my head. I honestly wasn’t concerned about the injury. I felt that if that was the last time I played basketball, I had left my mark.” Ware said.
The Cardinals went on to win the game, surprising Ware with the news in the hospital. In return for his dedication and selfless devotion to the team, Ware’s teammates plan on honoring him during their warm-ups at the Final Four by wearing a special shirt with the phrase “Ri5e to the occasion.” Ware is cleared to travel with the team and will be supporting them in any way he can despite his limitations.
While this type of injury is extremely rare in sports (it is seen way more often when there is blunt-force trauma, such as in a car accident), there is no doubt that with time, plenty of rehab and maybe a little luck, Ware will make another appearance on the basketball court.
For now, his presence on the Louisville bench will continue to inspire the team as they try to win a national championship.