Trainers tend to Louisville’s Kevin Ware after the sophomore guard breaks his leg against Duke. (Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS — Kevin Ware‘s teammates couldn’t bear to watch after he went down in a heap after landing awkwardly on his leg.
Ware was taken to the Methodist Hospital, which is two miles away from the arena. He hadsurgery later Sunday night and will remain in Indianapolis for at least two days.Russ Smith was crying on the opposite side of the court. Peyton Siva bent over. Chane Behanan did the same, sobbing. Louisvillecoach Rick Pitino even shed tears after watching the Cardinals sophomore’s gruesome broken leg with 6:33 remaining in the first half of the Elite Eight contest against Duke.
“It was as bad as I’ve ever seen,” said Richard Pitino, Rick’s son and Florida International head coach, who was sitting just a few feet away from where the injury occurred. “I’ve never seen a bone come out of a shin like that.”
Ware appeared to land awkwardly while contesting Tyler Thornton’s shot in front of Louisville’s bench. After writhing in pain for several minutes, he was taken off the court on a stretcher while the entire crowd cheered — including Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and Blue Devils players.
Richard Pitino recruited Ware when he was an assistant with his father.
“He’s a great kid,” he said. “He had a tough season, but was playing well and starting to flourish. I’m just hoping he can recover.”
It was reminiscent of injuries to former NFL quarterback Joe Theismann’s knee injury back in the 1980s or when South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore suffered a brutal knee injury in 2012.
Louisville led 21-20 at the time of the injury.
Video of the injury is available HERE, courtesy of The Big Lead. WARNING: THIS VIDEO IS EXTREMELY GRAPHIC, AND NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH.