Kevin Ware, the Louisville guard who suffered one of most gruesome injuries in sports history by breaking his leg during a NCAA Elite 8 game against Duke on Sunday is speaking out and saying that he's fine and will be ok.
Ware ran from the edge of the foul line circle and contested Duke's Tyler Thornton's shot in the first half, when he landed all his weight on his right leg.
The sophomore guard recalled the incident from Methodist Hospital as s blur. He said that when he landed awkwardly on his right leg, he thought he just sprained his ankle, but it was the look on Lousiville Head coach Rick Pitino's face that said it all. Ware then looked down at his leg and saw the bone that had punctured his skin, then he immediately 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.
The guard successfully underwent a two-hour surgery on Sunday night and had his bone reset and a steel rod inserted in his tibia. Ware called his father early Monday morning to tell him that doctors said he would be able to walk with crutches."They said I can walk today. They said I can walk," he said.
"Hopefully I'll be back in time to watch practice," Ware told ESPN by phone Monday. "It hurts but I'll be fine. I'll be fine."
Pitino said that Ware was in good spirits, although the team felt "awful" after the incident.
"The doctors here have been tremendous...and they operated right away on him. He's not in any pain. He'll come back tomorrow to Louisville and travel with the team to Atlanta," Pitino said.
Ware somehow remained calm after he landed on the floor in pain.
"He was laying down, crying and saying: 'Win it for me, y'all. I'm good. I'm going to get surgery and be back at it like I never left,' " Forward Chane Behanan said.
Ware said he has received support and words of encouragement from some big names and celebrities. He received calls from Dwight Howard and Charles Barkley and even received a visit from NCAA president Mark Emmert.
When Ware scrolled through his Twitter feed, there were messages from NBA players like Carmelo Anthony, Lebron James, and Rajon Rondo all telling him to stay strong.
"I've never had this much support in my life," Ware said. "Like, I'm just so grateful for it, you know?"