Joe Theismann Relates to NCAA Player Kevin Ware's Leg Break

Football legend Joe Theismann tells INSIDE EDITION how Kevin Ware's leg break during the NCAA game brought back powerful memories of his own career-ending injury.

The young basketball star whose leg snapped in two on live television has an inspirational message for his many fans.

Kevin Ware said, "This is a minor setback for a major comeback!"

Kevin Ware proudly shared a new photo of his injured leg and he's also showing off his new dog wearing a tiny shirt with his name and number on it. The dog is named Scar.  Why?

Ware said, "We named him Scar to represent my struggle, and the "scar" that will be left on my leg after the healing process."

Joe Theismann knows exactly what Ware is going through. He is a retired NFL quarterback, whose leg was brutally broken in a Monday Night Football game in 1985.

He said, "I pray he comes back and fulfills his dreams."

Theismann said, "It's like it was yesterday. It hasn't been 28 years in my mind. The sound of the breaking, like a two-muzzle gunshot. Pow! Pow! Then, all of a sudden, the pain was excruciating."

Theismann was watching the March Madness game between the University of Louisville and Duke when Kevin Ware's leg snapped.

Theismann said, "It made me almost sick to my stomach, because it brought back an instant memory for me of what I went through."

When Ware was being taken to surgery, he phoned his mom, who was watching the game at home, and said, "Calm down, mom, I'm okay."

Believe it or not, Theismann had the exact same reaction as he lay wounded on the football field all those years ago.

Theismann said, "I said, please tell my mom and dad I'm okay."

He was far from okay. His broken leg was literally dangling from the knee.

Theismann said, "When I went to the hospital, they moved me from one gurney to another, my leg sort of dangled and flopped down. So I turned to the attendant and said, ‘could you please get the rest of me?’"

He phoned Ware in his hospital bed to express his support.

Theismann said, "I just wanted to let him know I'd be there for him."

Theismann was 35 when that horrendous injury ended his career but he sees a far different outcome for 20-year-old Ware.

Theismann said, "I said to him, you've got a great chance to become the College Basketball NCAA comeback player of the year and that’s what I expect. And he said, "I’m going to work towards it."