Just a year ago, with the Final Four field set, many Calumet Region fans were pulling for Michigan. With Spike Albrecht (Crown Point HS), Mitch McGary (Chesterton HS), and Glenn Robinson III (Lake Central HS) wearing the maize and blue, the allegiance was natural.
However, absent that affinity for the Wolverines — or any other team in particular, you had to be pulling for eventual National Champion Louisville. How could you not? With 6:33 remaining in the first half of their Regional Final with Duke in Indianapolis, the Cardinals lost sophomore guard Kevin Ware to a gruesome compound fracture of his right lower leg. Anybody who witnessed the incident in person or on television will never forget it.
But do you remember the rest of Ware’s story?
In the immediate aftermath of surgery, where a rod was placed permanently in Ware’s tibia, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said that Ware would be out for a year.
Too bad player and coach didn’t stick to that original plan.
Instead, Ware was back in October. He even made headlines when he took and made a three-pointer on his very first shot of the season in an exhibition game against Pikeville on Nov. 6.
It was all down hill from there. Kicked in the right shin during a game against Missouri State on December 17, Ware played in only one more game and only for one minute. In early January, Pitino announced the junior would take a medical redshirt.
Soon thereafter, Ware stopped attending games and practices. When the Cardinals returned to Indianapolis this past weekend, Ware wasn’t with them. And less than a day after being eliminated by Kentucky, Louisville announced that Ware would be transferring.
A career short-circuited by too quick a comeback? For Ware, at Louisville, yes. Still, he will have the better part of two seasons elsewhere to resurrect what once had held such promise.
With having to sit out until at least January 2015, though, Ware will now have that full year – and a little more — he needed in the first place to recover from such a severe injury.
A full year of relative rest and rehabilitation. That is the story for those seeking full recovery following major surgery, prolonged non-weightbearing, and/or prolonged immobilization.
Now, three or four years after the fact – depending upon how one looks at it, former White Sox and current Red Sox pitcher Jake Peavy is admitting as much in an interview published last week by mlb.com.
In July of 2010, he suffered a torn latissimus tendon at the back of his right shoulder. Reattached within days of the injury by renowned Chicago orthopaedic surgeon Tony Romeo, the tendon was well enough for Peavy to resume pitching at the start of the 2011 season but, in hindsight, not competitively. His velocity was nowhere near what it had been before the injury and didn’t return to normal until 2012.
Had he waited until July instead of May to make his first start of 2011, the rest of that season could have been a much better story.
John Doherty is a licensed physical therapist and athletic trainer. This column reflects solely his opinion. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JDohertyATCPT.