Given the nature of the injury suffered by Louisville guard Kevin Ware during the Cardinals’ Elite 8 win over Duke in the NCAA tournament, few expected the junior to be ready to practice in the days leading up to the defending national champion’s season opener on November 9 against the College of Charleston.
But less than two weeks after it was believed that Ware wouldn’t be back until the spring semester, there was video of Ware dunking. And on Friday head coach Rick Pitino stated during a press conference that Ware’s been cleared to begin basketball workouts, marking the latest step taken in Ware’s comeback.
“He has a clean bill of health,” coach Rick Pitino said Friday. “He can play all-out at the end of the month.”
Pitino said Ware has been cleared to begin basketball workouts immediately, but while he may be physically ready to return to the court, Pitino cautioned he may still need to get past his injury mentally.
As Pitino noted there’s a mental barrier Ware may need to overcome, and that’s something many elite athletes who suffer serious injuries need to address in order to complete their comeback. The question now is whether or not Ware will miss any games due to the injury. Louisville has three intra-squad scrimmages and two exhibitions before their season opener, with the first scrimmage taking place on Saturday.
We may not know when Ware will be able to play in games, but the fact that he’s received the clearance needed in order to participate in workouts is something to celebrate.