Louisville’s Kevin Ware has taken what he said would be the hardest step in his recovery – the first one.
The sophomore was back on the Cardinals’ campus Tuesday after he had been released from an Indianapolis hospital, two days after millions watched him break his right leg on a horrifying play trying to block a shot.
Ware returned to the Cardinals’ practice facility just after 2 p.m., entering through a back door. He had said on Facebook that “the first step is always the hardest one to take.”
Ware had been hospitalized since sustaining the horrific injury Sunday during the first half of Louisville’s 85-63 win over Duke in the Midwest Regional. He underwent surgery to repair compound fractures of the tibia in the leg and is expected to be out a year.
He tweeted Tuesday as he prepared to leave the hospital on crutches, “Back to my brothers I go.”
The next step for Ware might be a trip to Atlanta for the Final Four.
Athletic department spokesman Kenny Klein said doctor’s wouldn’t likely sign off on Ware traveling until Wednesday.
On campus, a makeshift tribute was taped to a window in the Student Activities Center, and students filed by and lined up one by one to sign the 3-by-5 foot poster that said, ‘We Stand Behind You, Kevin! Get Well (hash)5!
In an interview with the Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ware said, “It really brought my spirits up. ... And it’s kind of hard to keep your spirits up in a situation like this.”
Ware also told the Courier-Journal that he remembered teammate Luke Hancock comforting him, and being surrounded by other Cardinals immediately after he suffered the injury. During that time Ware said he went into “Kevin mode,” telling his team to win the game.
“When they took me off the court,” Ware told the paper, “I heard so many cheers, and I’m like ‘When I’m out of surgery, there’s gonna be some good news.’ “
Ware’s recollection was not as clear when he woke on Monday morning full of medication, though he said his memory returned upon seeing the championship trophy in his hospital room.