"I can remember it like it was yesterday," former MSU football player Tyrell Dortch said. "The reaction from the players and the coaches, it reminded me of the reactions from my teammates and my coaches when I broke my leg. I just started thinking about, this kid has got a long way to go in a very short period of time."
If you saw it, you'll never forget it; if you didn't, you've probably heard about it.
The gruesome leg break suffered by Louisville basketball player Kevin Ware was deemed too graphic to show on most television stations now. People who saw it at home sympathized with the teammates who fell to the ground and began to cry.
"It was horrible," Michigan State University sophomore Ally Hella said. "It was the worst thing I've ever seen."
Seeing it once is enough, and it's led doctors and former athletes to talk about what they saw. The incident hit especially close to home for former Spartan football player Tyrell Dortch. He suffered almost the same injury as Ware back in 2001 during a game against Wisconsin. Dortch still hasn't watched the replay.
"I can remember it like it was yesterday," Dortch said. "The reaction from the players and the coaches, it reminded me of the reactions from my teammates and my coaches when I broke my leg. I just started thinking about, this kid has got a long way to go in a very short period of time."
Sports medicine experts say this kind of fracture is more common in football and sports with higher contact. In fact, they've never seen something like it in basketball and consider it a freak incident.
"It happened in a fraction of a second," MSU Professor of Kinesiology Dr. John Powell said. "It's very unique. All the weight came directly down on the bone. For an individual to be all by themselves and come down on a foot like this is very unusual."
Ware's surgery lasted about two hours, and doctors say it's a good sign that it's probably a clean break, which is encouraging for his recovery.
"A lot of the recovery process is determined by the compliance of the patient themselves, how hard the patient works with their rehab, and we know that certainly will not be a problem at all in this case," Sparrow Hospital physical therapist Elaine Nevells said.
Nevells said the bone itself will take 8 to 10 weeks to heal, and Ware could be back on the court in a year. Dortch said Ware's recovery also depends on his support system.
"There's going to be a lot of tough days that he needs to lean on somebody," Dortch said. "Family, friends, and teammates and coaching staff and medical staff. Those people all have to, I would say, save the hugs for later, and push him now, and I'm rooting for him."
Now that the Spartans are out of the race, most of them are rooting for Louisville, too.
"I think the whole country is behind Louisville now," Hella said.
Ware is already up on crutches. Other athletes who have suffered injuries like his have reached out to Ware, including Dortch, and Joe Theismann.