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Louisville junior Kevin Ware plays his first minutes since breaking leg in regional final

Kevin Ware, the guard whose gruesome right leg injury in the NCAA Midwest regional final became a rallying point during Louisville's championship run, returned to the court in an exhibition against Pikeville.

The junior entered Wednesday night's game with 13:49 remaining to a standing ovation, moving deliberately at first before picking up the pace on a couple of breaks. Ware was cheered every time he touched the ball, bringing an even bigger roar by hitting a 3-pointer from the right side with 8:28 left to make it 71-44.

His return for the preseason game was somewhat surprising. He was expected back for Saturday's opener against the College of Charleston.

He is coming back from compound fracture in his lower right leg.