Kevin Ware’s broken leg was so bad it made grown men weep. Louisville Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino said on Tuesday that he believes Ware could be playing again in October, six months after that gruesome injury against Duke in the Elite Eight.
Pitino, who guided the program to its third national championship last season, provided the Ware news nonchalantly on Tuesday during a mid-summer catch-up with the media.
“He’s just riding the bike and you can almost see from the X-rays the bone healing,” Pitino said (via courier-journal.com). “I would venture to say in another month he'll be healed and then he'll start working out a little bit.
“Probably sometime in October he'll start playing again, so he's doing well.”
No kidding. It’s amazing enough that Ware was on video getting up jumpers last month at Louisville’s practice gym.
Ware’s quick return has to be gravy for Pitino. The mid-summer check-in also gave Pitino a chance to rave about his guard play.
“I'll tell you now this is a very, very strong backcourt,” Pitino said. “Chris Jones is everything that we've heard. He's been very, very good in practice. (Terry) Rozier and (Anton) Gill have been outstanding. Practices have been very competitive.”
If we are to believe that a combination of Jones and incoming freshman Rozier is enough to replace the abilities of Peyton Siva at point guard, the Cardinals are going to be stacked in the backcourt.
Even without Ware, Pitino would have a rotation at the 2 and 3 spots that include Russ Smith, Luke Hancock, Wayne Blackshear and Gill.
Speed and backcourt depth are great assets in the Pitino system. That’s what Ware provided a year ago when he disrupted opposing backcourts by averaging better than a steal per game in only 16.6 minutes per contest.
It’s impossible to predict whether Ware’s speed will ever be the same. Most college basketball fans will be rooting for him. And even if he’s a shell of what he was before, the speed with which he’s recovered is an impressive feat.