BY Danica Bellini,Mstarz reporter , Mstarz reporter | Apr 01, 2013 10:06 AM EDT
As Mstars originally reported, Cardinals star Kevin Ware suffered a devastatingly gruesome leg injury during the first half of Louisville's NCAA Elite Eight game against Duke on Sunday night (March 31). When Ware attempted to block a three-point shot by Blue Devils player Tyler Thornton, he landed awkwardly on his right leg, resulting in a severe open wound. According to recent reports, Ware was transported to a local Indianapolis hospital where he underwent two hours of surgery - his right tibia was reset, a rod was inserted into his leg, and the open wound caused by the break was closed. The Bronx-native is now recovering after a successful surgery. Ware's strength and team dedication despite his gruesome wound inspired a Cardinals win over Duke - Louisville now advances to the Final Four round of March Madness 2013.
With just six minutes left in the first half of the b-ball game on Sunday, Ware suffered a severe compound fracture following his devastating fall and was taken to an area hospital near Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for treatment. WARNING - the below clips of Ware's injury are very graphic:
Although Ware appeared to be in severe pain, he remained relatively calm while he was transported onto a stretcher and wheeled off the court. According to Louisville coach Rick Pitino, Ware was in tears throughout the entire ordeal, but kept repeating to his worried teammates, "Just win the game." And that's exactly what they did - Louisville defeated Duke 85-63 and now advance to the Final Four.
Following the game, Coach Pitino described his reaction to Ware's injury to Fox Sports, “I went over and I was going to help him up and then all of a sudden I saw what it was and I literally almost threw up. And then I just wanted to try to get a towel to get it over that. But all the players came over and saw it...I told [Ware's teammates] at halftime, I said, ‘Guys, if we don’t get him back home to Atlanta, it wasn’t worth playing this season.' And they did it... I felt awful for the players, felt awful for the fans,” Pitino said (via Fox Sports). “But we had to gather ourselves. We couldn’t lose this game for him. We couldn’t.”
When Ware woke up from surgery later on, he was greeted by several of his teammates holding their victory trophy.
"He was groggy, in good spirits,” Pitino told the Associated Press. “He saw us win the trophy and was crying and said it was all worthwhile. We didn’t cut down the net, but I left him the trophy.”
Watch a post-game interview with Cardinals Coach Pitino here:
Ware is expected to remain in an Indianapolis hospital until Tuesday - doctors will monitor him for signs of infection and make sure that blood flow has been fully restored in his leg. Upon his release, Ware hopes to travel with his teammates to Atlanta (his hometown) for Saturday’s Final Four game against Wichita State.
Several fans have offered their support and prayers for Ware on Twitter since the gruesome incident, including rapper Lil Wayne:
@LilTunechi: "May God be with Kevin Ware and his family. Ya in my prayers bro."
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