It was the bone snap heard round the world. When Louisville basketball star Kevin Ware’s right leg fractured and crumbled during last season’s NCAA Midwest Regional final, many experts speculated that the gruesome injury could be a career ender. A new video proves otherwise.
In a video posted to teammate Chris Jones’ Instagram account, Ware is seen dunking the ball through the net like a master slammer a mere six months after sustaining the injury. As the 15-second’s worth of footage shows, he moves smoothly, getting plenty of air, with no trace of a limp or weakness in the injured leg.
Ware, a promising 6-foot-2 sophomore guard, was challenging an outside shot when he landed awkwardly. His right leg buckled, bending at a horrific right angle. The 20-year-old was immediately put on a gurney and rushed to a nearby hospital as his coaches and teammates watched in tears.
Ware sustained an injury known as “open fracture” because his bone and tissue were exposed to outside air, dirt and debris. It’s classified as a compound fracture because the tibia bone in his right lower leg poked through the skin and was plainly visible as he lay on the court writhing in agony.
The basketball star underwent successful surgery lasting more than two hours at Methodist Hospital in Indiana to repair the fracture. His bone was reset and a rod was inserted to stabilize his leg as the injury healed.
Dr. David Wellman, an orthopedic trauma surgeon with the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, said with an open fracture, risk of complication and infection go up which can delay or even prevent the healing process. Rapid treatment increases the chance of reuniting the bone and a faster healing time.
“It looks like immediate treatment helped him avoid complications and he had a good result,” Wellman said. “His healing rate was more in line with a closed injury.”
Ware’s future certainly looks bright. Though Louisville head coach Rick Pitino has said he won’t rush Ware back into the game, Kenny Kline, Louisville’s senior associate athletic director of media relations, recently tweeted that the rising junior point guard will be ready to get back on the court in about four weeks and should be able to play in the upcoming season. Based on this video, his inside game looks good to go.