Louisville guard Kevin Ware leaves hospital after surgery

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Louisville guard Kevin Ware has left an Indianapolis hospital after undergoing surgery to repair a compound fracture in his right leg that he suffered Sunday in a Cardinal win over Duke.

According to the Associated Press, Ware is headed back to Louisville’s campus and coach Rick Pitino would like him to travel with the team to the Final Four in Atlanta.

Ware suffered the injury during the first half of Louisville’s 85-63 Elite Eight win over Duke when he jumped to block a shot and came down awkwardly near the sideline. The severity of the injury drew an immediate emotional reaction from players on the Louisville bench and on social media. Pitino was seen holding back tears as Ware was taken to the locker room.

From the AP:

Pitino and his son, Richard, spent Monday at the hospital with Ware, who was pictured holding the championship trophy in his bed. Ware later posted a comment on Facebook saying, “the first step is always the hardest one to take” along with a photo of him on crutches.

Doctors have yet to clear Ware to travel with the team to the Final Four, despite the team’s desire to bring him along for the trip. He will be sidelined for around one year, according to reports. That long road back begins with rehab, but he seems to be off to a good start when judged by his attitude.

“When they took me off the court,” Ware told the Louisville Courier-Journal, “I heard so many cheers, and I’m like `When I’m out of surgery, there’s gonna be some good news.’ ”

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_