Sunday, March 9 2014 8:35 PM EDT2014-03-10 00:35:58 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- U of L's president says Kevin Ware plans to return to Louisville tomorrow to continue his recovery from the horrific injury he suffered during yesterday's Elite 8 game.
And Ware appears determined to go to the Final 4 with his teammates. The game is in Atlanta, Ware's hometown.
His injury has gotten international attention, but nowhere has it been felt more than on U of L's campus.
Incredibly, Kevin Ware was out of bed and on his feet less than 24 hours after snapping his leg during Sunday's game. Coach Pitino and son Richard posed with Ware holding the Regional Championship trophy.
U of L President James Ramsey talked to him by phone.
"He hopes to be back on campus tomorrow. And when I asked him if he thought he would be able to go to Atlanta, he said 'I gotta be in Atlanta,'" said Ramsey.
A far cry from the horrific scene Sunday night in the moments after his injury.
"All of the sudden, the game wasn't important. It was this young man who's worked so hard and just everybody hoping that he would be OK," said Ramsey.
Dr. Craig Roberts, chairman of orthopaedic surgery at U of L says injuries such as Ware's are not uncommon. But he says it takes "tremendous amount of force" to cause such a break.
It's all about mechanics - combining energy, mass and angle.
"You could see how one were to hit here first and the body weight pushing this way, it would naturally kind of snap in the middle," said Dr. Roberts as he demonstrated on a model skeleton.
But Roberts says he expects to see Ware back on the court as early as next season.
"We'll see great improvement by three months. I think by the sixth-, seventh-, eight-month mark, you will see him on the court."
Among U of L students, the excitement about the victories by the men's and women's teams has been tempered somewhat by Ware's injury.
"They showed the replay, and I saw the bone out of the skin -- it was just tragic," said freshman Shain Ross. "It was hard for me to look at."
"Being an athlete, watching someone get hurt in the sport they love is like an emotional train wreck. I couldn't imagine that happening to me in middle of a game," said field hockey player Olivia Cabral.
"It broke my heart completely seeing that happen, but it was just so cool to see how the team reacted. Everyone just loves him," said Megan Anstotz, who is also on the field hockey team.
Ramsey says he does not know the details of how the University will support Ware in terms of his medical expenses, but he said will receive the best of care.