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Kevin Ware has no doubt he’ll play next season

Apr 23, 2013, 11:24 AM EDT

KevinWare

The most iconic moment from this year’s NCAA tournament, and possibly this entire college basketball season, was the photo of Kevin Ware laying on his back, the training staff working on his broken leg as he held his teammate’s hands and told them to win the game and not worry about him.

At that point, Ware’s lower leg was, essentially, in two pieces, held together by nothing more than muscle and skin while part of his tibia was exposed, sticking through the skin.

The idea that he would play basketball again in 2013 seemed unlikely, and anyone that watched the injury happen at some point thought that might be the end of Ware’s basketball career.

Nope. Turns out that Ware could possibly end up being ready to play by next season.

“None, honestly,” Ware said when asked by WDRB whether there’s any doubt he’ll play in 2013-2014. “Just looking at the scar and how it’s healing, it’s really just going to be about me having the confidence to work hard.”

“I’ve been able to put pressure on it a lot more and in about three months I’ll be doing swimming exercises,” Ware added. “I’ll be good in six months. Doctors keep telling me that I’m young and that’s why it’s healing a lot faster. I’ve always tried to keep myself in good shape, and not put in a lot of outside things that hurt my body, like fast food. I really feel like I’m good.”

Ware may be able to get back on the floor next year, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to be the same Kevin Ware that had played the first couple of rounds of the NCAA tournament. He’ll be coming off of a long stretch where he didn’t touch a basketball. He’s going to be out of shape and he’s not going to have the same kind of strength in his legs. He’s going to have to learn to have the confidence and comfort to do something like run full speed at a shooter on the wing.

That will take time.

But it will be an adjustment that happens while he’s playing.

That’s impressive enough in its own right.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.