With the 2013 NCAA tournament in the books, the journey back to the basketball court has begun for Louisville's Kevin Ware.
The sophomore guard who suffered a horrific leg injury during the Midwest Regional final is beginning his arduous rehabilitation process. In an effort to motivate fans and quell their worries, Ware decided to quote another athlete healing after surgery: Kobe Bryant.
Here's Ware's tweet, which shows him working out and harnessing his inner Black Mamba:
If you're wondering where the motivational words come from, Ware is referencing Bryant's Facebook page post after the Lakers star suffered a torn Achilles tendon against the Golden State Warriors Friday night.
That particular injury has a six- to nine-month timetable attributed to it and brings doubt that Bryant will ever be the same player.
Always one to draw a great amount of motivation from detractors, Bryant delivered an impassioned rant early Saturday morning. The most pertinent section can be seen below:
There are far greater issues/challenges in the world then a torn achilles. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, find the silver lining and get to work with the same belief, same drive and same conviction as ever.
One day, the beginning of a new career journey will commence. Today is NOT that day.
"If you see me in a fight with a bear, prey for the bear". Ive always loved that quote. Thats "mamba mentality" we don't quit, we don't cower, we don't run. We endure and conquer.
On the other end of the sports spectrum, Ware is beginning his own humbling trip back to the hardwood.
Yahoo! Sports reminds us that Ware suffered a compound fracture of his right tibia during Louisville's Elite Eight victory over Duke. His team would go on to win the championship with Ware sitting courtside to support his teammates.
As the report states, the injury—while very serious and forever etched in the minds of those who witnessed it—should not be career-ending. As for his own specific timetable, Bleacher Report's own Dave Siebert offers, "A number of variables can and will affect his prognosis in the weeks to come, but he could be sidelined for the rest of the calendar year."
Ware will enter his junior season with the hopes of coming back even better than he was before breaking his leg.
Along the way, he will use the plight of another athlete trying to perform a similar feat. If you are looking to push yourself to great heights, there is hardly a better athlete to fashion a comeback after than Bryant.
Here's to hoping they both return better than ever.