A day after a suffering a horrific leg injury in Louisville's Elite Eight win over Duke, Kevin Ware told ESPN.com's Dana O'Neil on Monday that he "went into shock" when he saw the injury. But he said that he was improving and would be "fine," and he wants to travel with his teammates to the Final Four in Atlanta this weekend.
Ware said that he didn't think the injury was serious until he saw the reaction of Louisville coach Rick Pitino.
"I jumped and my leg felt kind of funny," Ware told ESPN.com's O'Neil. "When Coach P tried to help me up, he gave me a funny kind of look. I'm looking at him and then I look down and I see my bone sticking out. It wasn't a hurt feeling. I just went into shock. In the moment, you don't know what's wrong with you. You're just looking, thinking, 'How did this happen?'
Ware added that he hasn't watched the replay and never plans to. SI.com's Luke Winn spoke to Ware's mother, Lisa Junior, who was watching on television from Georgia and said that she broke down when CBS decided to show the replay.
Junior told Winn that her son called her right before he was set to undergo a two-hour surgery to have a rod inserted into his leg and told her, simply, to "calm down."
It was the same message he said he conveyed to his teammates.
"I just looked at Coach P and said, 'You gotta pull yourself together. Tell the guys to come over here,' " Ware told ESPN. "They came over and they were still emotional but I meant it. I told them, 'Don't worry about me. I'll be fine.' I just had to block the pain out and put my situation on hold. I never back down for a challenge and to me, that's what this is. Just another challenge. I'll get through it. I wanted them to know that."