Injured Louisville guard Kevin Ware was brought the trophy from Sunday’s win by coach Rick Pitino, left, and former team assistant coach Richard Pitino.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge
Kevin Ware is already up and walking, and he’s got a nice souvenir to keep him company until he’s cleared to return to Louisville.
Cardinals coach Rick Pitino brought the Midwest Regional championship trophy when he visited Ware, who remains hospitalized after surgery to repair a gruesome fracture in his right leg.
“He was real excited about [the trophy],” Pitino said after visiting Ware again Monday morning. “I said to him, ‘You want me to bring it back or stay with you?’ He said, ‘It’s staying with me.’ I said, ‘All right, just make sure you don’t lose it.’ ”
During a two-hour surgery Sunday night, doctors reset Ware’s broken tibia and inserted a rod into the bone. Because the bone broke through the skin, Pitino said doctors are monitoring Ware to make sure no infection develops. If there are no complications, he should be released today.
The Cardinals plan to leave Wednesday night for the Final Four in Atlanta. Pitino expects to have Ware with them. Ware is originally from New York City, but he moved to the Atlanta area before high school.
“He gets to go home, be with his family and be with us on the bench,” Pitino said. “He’s in very good spirits and anxious to get out of the hospital.”
The horrific injury devastated his teammates, and several fell to the court crying. Chane Behanan, Ware’s best friend on the team, had to be helped to his feet.