Local expert weighs-in on Ware's injury - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Local expert weighs-in on Ware's injury

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The images were so tough to take, they aren't being shown on television.
A college athlete begins a long recovery from an injury experts call rare.

University of Louisville basketball player, Kevin Ware suffered a horrific broken leg during Sunday's game against Duke.

The good news, the Monday images are much easier to see than the ones from the game.

Kevin Ware was smiling inside Methodist Hospital with Coach Rick Pitino and his son Richard.

Ware underwent successful surgery Sunday night and already Monday, he's seen moving around with the help of crutches.

Pitino says Ware is doing terrific.

Doctors at the hospital where he was treated talk about how the injury could have possibly happened.

"Usually when it happens like this, it's just a perfect storm of falling just the right way, usually a little bit awkwardly where the leg twists a little bit at the last minute, that leads to it breaking," says Dr. Walter Virkus, director of Orthopedic Trauma at Methodist Hospital.

The plan is for Ware to be released Tuesday, head back to Louisville, then hopefully join his teammates on a trip to Atlanta for the Final Four.

People in Michiana are reacting to Ware's injury, "It was heartbreaking. The guys on the bench started puking, I felt bad for the guy," says basketball fan, Sukesh Shekar.

Fan Ian Sander says, "I saw the Louisville players crying and then I changed the channel. I didn't want to look at it. I knew it had to be bad."

It's all anyone could talk about after University of Louisville guard Kevin Ware, went up to block a shot, and came down on his leg awkwardly.

The result was a compound fracture, where the bone breaks through the skin.

University officials say Ware broke his right leg in two places.

"The tibia is the shin bone and the bone adjacent to it is the fibula. So when this gentleman landed, he broke both of these bones," says Kim.

Orthopedic Surgeon with South Bend Orthopaedics, Dr. Henry Kim says it's an injury he's treated before, but not under these circumstances.

"Most of the time you see injuries like this in high injury trauma. Motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, falls from a height, like a tree or a hunting loft. Not commonly in a basketball injury," says Kim.

Kim says Ware's road to recovery will be a long one; 16 weeks off his feet to let it heal and then there will be plenty of physical therapy.

Kim says the good news is that Ware is young and should bounce back, but it's tough to tell what his career in basketball will look like.

"I believe he'll heal the fracture, he'll be able to play. The question is whether he'll be able to play at the same elite level of basketball activity," says Kim.

Dr. Kim says Ware's injury is similar to Joe Theismann's injury back in 1985.

He was the quarterback for the Washington Redskins and the injury ended his career.

But others are comparing his injury to Michael Bush, who is a Louisville alum, and he's playing in the NFL right now.

Basketball fans say they hope to see Ware on the court soon.

"Hopefully he gets back into basketball-playing-shape," says Sukesh.

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