Louisville's Kevin Ware talks with WDRB's Steve Andress after the Big East Tournament title game.
Louisville's Kevin Ware talks to reporters in the locker room after the NCAA championship game
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kevin Ware arrived on his crutches for the University of Louisville's annual student-athlete awards banquet Monday night smiling.
He'd gotten some stitches out of his surgically repaired right leg and said the scar was healing nicely. He has more banquet-type functions ahead. He'll attend the annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner in Washington, D.C. later this week as the guest of CNN.
"I don't really like all the lights and the cameras and everything, but I really did enjoy it (the outpouring of support for him)," Ware said. "And I'm ready to get things back to normal."
How long that could be, however, depends on how quickly he can heal, and how well his rehabilitation goes. He's already begun the process, trying to put mild pressure on the leg.
"I've been able to put pressure on it a lot more and in about three months I'll be doing swimming exercises," Ware said. "I'll be good in six months. Doctors keep telling me that I'm young and that's why it's healing a lot faster. I've always tried to keep myself in good shape, and not put in a lot of outside things that hurt my body, like fast food. I really feel like I'm good."
Ware said he's excited about his trip to the Correspondents' Dinner, an annual affair in which the President roasts members of the media corps and takes jabs at political opponents. Conan O'Brien will serve as host, and a number of celebrities will be among the spectators.
Ware said he didn't know anything about the event before he was invited last week.
"It's huge. It's something different," Ware said, but noted that it won't serve as a substitute for meeting President Obama at the White House later this year. "It's going to be a great experience. But we've still got to get on the President a little bit for picking Indiana over us."
When asked how he's approaching the rehab process, Ware said he's not proceeding with caution.
"I'm just trying to see what I can do with it, honestly," Ware said. "He wants me to put a lot of pressure on it. He tried to tell me to do all I can and I got my confidence back at one point to ride the bike a little. Just being able to do things like that makes me excited to see what I can do."
As for how badly he wants to be back on the court next season.
"As bad as I can," he said. "That's why I'll be here all summer and rehab. Nothing outside of my family and basketball."
Asked if he had any doubt at all whether he'll play next season, Ware answered, "None, honestly. Just looking at the scar and how it's healing, it's really just going to be about me having the confidence to work hard."