Louisville sophomore guard Kevin Ware underwent a two-hour surgery Sunday night (March 31) to repair the open fracture he suffered to his right leg during the Cardinals’ win over Duke in the NCAA Midwest Regional final.
The surgery was successful and included resetting Ware’s right tibia, inserting a rod into his leg, and closing the wound caused by the bone puncturing the skin of his lower leg. Ware’s prognosis is not exactly clear. A lengthy recovery period is expected, as patients who suffer injuries like this may not see signs of healing for eight to twelve weeks.
Still, Lousiville’s sports medicine director Fred Hina believes the injury will not be a career ender for Ware. “Because it was a weight-bearing bone and it was such a difficult injury, it will take a while,” Hina tells USA Today. “But he will play again.”
Hina helped stabilize Ware on the court before he was transported to a hospital for surgery. The injury, which took place when Ware moved to block a shot by Duke’s Tyler Thornton, was caught on camera and horrified and sickened viewers, as well as onlookers at the game.
Lousiville coach Rick Pitino was seen crying and Ware’s teammates sobbed on the court as his fractured tibia protruded from his open wound. Video footage of the injurious moment quickly made its rounds on the internet, and GIFs were created of the grisly event.
Louisville went on to beat Duke 85-63. Ware’s teammates say his words to them to not “worry about me, and go out there and win” inspired them to get their win over Duke.