This weekend during the March Madness NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, a gruesome accident occured. As most of you have already heard, during the Elite 8 game between Louisville and Duke on Sunday, March 31st, 2013, Kevin Ware, Louisville guard, landed awkwardly on his right leg and incurred a horrific bone fracture in which his shin bone protruded from his leg at least 6 inches. If you want to watch the video click here but be warned that it is graphic.
After watching this and following the social media explosion that followed I decided it would be interesting to do some research on athlete recovery from injuries of this magnitude. What I found out is that other successful professional athletes have suffered this sort of set back in their lives as well.
Ware underwent surgery the next day after his injury in which the orthopedic surgeons reset his bones and placed a rod in his shin running from his knee to his ankle to stabilize his leg. The surgeons have commented that the surgery went well and Ware should be able to return to the team next season.
Another former Louisville athlete, Michael Bush, who played running back for the school’s football team, incurred a similar injury during his first game his senior season. He was a top candidate for the Heisman Trophy and well on his way to becoming a top NFL draft pick when he snapped is tibia in the opener versus Kentucky in 2006. He put in the time to recover and went on to have a successful career in the NFL where he now plays for the Chicago Bears. Bush has since reached out to Ware on Twitter and assured him that it would be along road to recovery but it was possible.
The inspirational story and outpouring of support for Kevin Ware is unprecedented but it does not detract away from the intense recovery that Ware will have to face if he ever wants to play basketball at a high level again. The next 6 months will be critical for his future. Intense physical therapy and proper strength training will be insanely painful. His focus will have to be higher now than any other time in his career. For now it is all a waiting game to see how the surgery takes and when he can get back on his game. #PrayForWare #TeamWare