LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- University of Louisville’s Kevin Ware had a successful surgery after breaking his leg in Sunday night’s NCAA game against Duke. Coach Rick Pitino says he’s hopeful that Ware will be able to join his teammates in Atlanta, for the Final Four this weekend.
Kevin Ware is back on his feet using crutches. He is recovering at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.
"The surgery went well. Obviously we want to make sure no infection sets in. It went well. He's in good spirits," Pitino said.
Ware came down hard before the Cards' win over Duke, suffering an open fracture of his right tibia.
"I jumped and my leg felt kind of funny. Coach P tried to help me up, he gave me a funny kind of look... I look down and I see my bone sticking out. It wasn't a hurt feeling. I just went into shock. I never watched the replay. I never want to," Ware told ESPN.com.
Coach Pitino updated his team while he stayed with Ware and his mother overnight.
"I sent them pictures of him with the trophy and he's in good spirits," Pitino said.
Photos: An inside look at Ware's recovery
Support spread like wildfire in Louisville and across the nation. A sign at 2nd and Breckenridge in Old Louisville flashes "Prayers 4 Kevin Ware"
"I just admire him I really would. He's just an inspiration," a Cards fan told WHAS11.
"I know he's in pain but I hope he has a speedy recovery," another Cards fan said.
There are over 109,000 likes on the "Prayers for Kevin Ware" Facebook page.
Chicago Bears player Michael Bush who suffered the identical injury tweeted this, "Just spoke with #KevinWare n told me he already is up on crutches. #Superhuman"
"Michael Bush played for football for us and Joe Thiesmann type injury. It's very serious but as long as there is no infection it will be fine it takes time," Pitino said.
Dr. David Seligson with UofL Physicians treats many injuries similar to the athlete's. He says Ware's bone was reset and a metal rod was inserted.
"I think the rate of infection will go up if you don't handle the skin and soft tissues carefully. That means rest and elevation and less activity, not more," Dr. Seligson said.
Dr. Seligson says this type of serious leg injury could take more than a year to heal but that every case is different.
Coach Pitino expects Ware to come back to Louisville Wednesday and then travel to his hometown with his team to cheer on the sidelines during the Final Four.
Kevin Ware said on Twitter Monday:
@_billionairebev: "I wanna thank the NCAA president for coming to visit me today. He loved my character dealing with this situation. Much respect!!"
"Again I'm thankful for all the support I'm receiving right now. Never thought I'd be the talk of the country."
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