The reactions to Kevin Ware's broken leg, both by those in attendance at Louisville's Elite Eight victory over Duke and people in social media, tells us everything we need to know about how horrific this injury was.
The broadcast captured the gruesome injury to the sophomore, but I will refrain from posting any video of this unfortunate occurrence, and instead focus on the latest on this young man's condition and the reactions of others to it.
For starters, let's check in on the status of Ware. It appears, according to Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports, that Ware will soon have surgery.
Pat Forde @YahooForde
Kenny Klein of U of L has hospital update: Kevin Ware's pain is under control and he will likely have surgery tonight.3/31/2013, 10:24:11 PM
While it is hard to imagine someone coming back from an injury this severe, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino was confident that Ware would be back, and he used Louisville alum and current Chicago Bear Michael Bush as an example:
Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated passed along this quote from Pitino:
Stewart Mandel @slmandel
Rick Pitino on Ware: "Basically the bone popped out of his skin. It will take a year for him to come back. Same injury as Michael Bush."3/31/2013, 11:33:21 PM
Bush suffered his injury in the opening game of his senior season in 2006. He was drafted by the Raiders in the next draft and sat out the ensuing NFL season. He returned to the field in 2008 and gained 421 yards at 4.4 yards per carry.
He has gone on to have a solid career, and his leg has held up to the rigors of the NFL.
I am sure this is a message that Pitino will deliver to Ware, and he will be able to do so after Ware's surgery. The Courier-Journal's Kyle Tucker reported that Pitino was going to be there for Ware following the surgery.
Kyle Tucker @KyleTucker_SEC
Pitino will stay here in Indianapolis tonight to be with Ware when he gets out of surgery.4/1/2013, 12:22:40 AM
This is not surprising. Pitino's affection for his player was apparent in his comments and in the aftermath of the injury, which is captured well in this tweet by Emiliano Carchia:
A Teary Rick Pitino http://t.co/9HIwUIxjNn3/31/2013, 9:51:07 PM
Pitino certainly wasn't the only one shaken up by the injury. Ware's Louisville teammates were visibly rattled—like Russ Smith:
It wasn't just tears flowing from the Louisville side either. Check out this tweet by Zach Schonbrun of the New York Times:
Zach Schonbrun @zschonbrun
Several Louisville players appeared to vomit on the bench3/31/2013, 9:42:41 PM
Given the concern over Ware's well-being, it is not surprising that Louisville honored their injured teammate in their victory celebration, which Bleacher Report captured with this tweet:
Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
Louisville holds up Ware's jersey as they celebrate their win http://t.co/bk9GHdT1Ts3/31/2013, 11:39:22 PM
And the young man certainly seems deserving of all the well wishes and concern.
According to Tracy Wolfson of CBS (via Bleacher Report), Ware was concerned enough about his team, even in the wake of this terrible injury, that he left them with this message:
Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
.@tracywolfson reports Kevin Ware told his teammates: "Don't worry about me. I'll be OK. You guys go win this thing."3/31/2013, 10:34:06 PM
The reactions weren't limited to the Louisville side. Even in the wake of the crushing end to his team's tourney run, Duke's Seth Curry still felt compelled to tweet well wishes to his opponent:
Seth Curry @sdotcurry
And my thoughts and prayers to Kevin Ware!4/1/2013, 12:40:15 AM
This gruesome injury, which happened in the national spotlight, drew comparison to the horrendous career-ending knee injury suffered by former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann.
Well, Theismann was watching and he made sure to tweet his sympathy for this young man:
Joe Theismann @Theismann7
Watching Duke/ Louisville my heart goes out to Kevin Ware.3/31/2013, 9:45:25 PM
No matter who you root for, or even if you're not a sports fan at all, no one wants to see a young man suffer this kind of injury. And I feel safe in saying that we all wish a full and speedy recovery to Ware.
Link to Printable PDF
Link to Live Bracket