Just 24 hours after Louisville's Kevin Ware suffered a horrifying leg injury during Sunday's NCAA regional championship, the sophomore guard is now standing with crutches. Ware endured a two-hour surgery inserting a rod into his tibia.
For many, Ware's injury brought to mind another painful moment involving former Washington Redskins quarterback, Joe Theismann. In 1985, his leg snapped on national TV when he was sacked by New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor. So many years later, Joe is still dealing with some of issues from that injury.
Theismann talks with John Berman and Brooke Baldwin on "Starting Point" this morning to share how Ware's injury brought back memories of his own. He also describes how he reached out to Ware to support him in his recovery.
"It's like I relived that moment all over again through Kevin," Thiesmann says. "My heart went out to him....there aren't a lot of people that have experienced what this young man has and I have. And all of a sudden, now, we're joined in that regard."
Thiesmann also describes talking with Ware about his injury.
"I had a chance to visit with him yesterday on the phone. We talked for a little while. He was in - his spirits are incredible. I mean, he really understands, for a young man, I was very impressed. He understands the road ahead. He knows he has to work hard. He understands that there's going to be patience involved, but the fact that they put a rod in, I think, will give him an opportunity to be able to keep the length of his leg. Mine wound up being 3/8 of an inch shorter and I walk on the outside of my foot because of the way the bone healed. So, those elements played into the rest of my life," he says.
"Plus, he's 20 years old, I was 35. So, I fully expect him to come back. The conversation was inspiring for me to talk to him and listen to his attitude," Thiesmann adds.
Thiesmann says he can also relate to the challenges Ware will have in the future in trying to support his team.
"You're sort of caught in no man's land. You're a part of it, but you're really not a part of it. You're hurt, but you don't want to hang around the guys because you're hurt. I mean, psychologically, it's a game you play in your head. I think for him the fact that he's going home to Atlanta, the championship, the NCAA championships are in Atlanta, are all very positive," he says.
Thiesmann says he's planning on spending time with Ware once his condition improves.