Louisville's Kevin Ware slowly getting back on his feet

    9:45 AM, Apr 2, 2013   |    comments
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    UNDATED (CBS) -- It was the scare of this year's March Madness. But just 48 hours after breaking his leg, Louisville guard Kevin Ware will leave an Indianapolis hospital Tuesday. The 20-year-old will return to Kentucky.

    Coach Rick Pitino says ware will travel with the team to Atlanta. Their "Final Four" matchup is this Saturday.

    After suffering a compound leg fracture Sunday night, Louisville's Kevin Ware was rushed to the hospital. Doctors operated on his leg right away. During a two hour operation, surgeons reset his broken tibia and inserted a titanium rod into the bone to stabilize it.

    The rod wasn't the only piece of new hardware he received. After their win, Ware's teammates brought him the Midwest regional trophy. And within a single day of surgery, Ware took his first step on a long road to recovery. Emergency physician Dr. Robert Glatter at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York says, "I think it's preliminary to say how long this will take, but he's a young, healthy person we presume and 3 to 6 months in this case could be potentially possible however it could be longer. It could be up to a year. I would expect a very favorable recovery in general since he's young and healthy."

    Ware's injury inspired an outpouring of support that spread from social media to the white house. First lady Michelle Obama says, "We're gonna pray that he fully recovers and gets back on his game. But it was also touching to see how everyone in that stadium felt for him, all the teammates, all the opponents; they all gathered around and that's something that we should be proud of."

    In the immediate aftermath, Ware was in shock. But as his crying teammates gathered around him, Ware found the mental strength to calm them and inspire the team to victory. Coach Rick Pitino says, "All he kept saying, and remember, the bones six inches out of his leg, and all he's yelling is win the game win the game, I've not seen that in my life. We're all distraught and all he's saying is win the game while a bones out of his leg. Pretty special young man."

    Over the phone, Ware told the New York Daily News, "This is a minor setback for a major comeback. This is not a lifetime injury where I can never play basketball again. But getting to where I want to be and where I need to be is going to take some time." Pitino says, "We all feel good now. For the last sixteen hours we felt awful. But we feel good now."

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