Gordon Hayward's debut season for the Boston Celtics appears to have ended as soon as it begun as he picked up a nasty-looking injury early on in their season opener on Tuesday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
With around six minutes to go in the first quarter, Hayward went up for an inaccurate ally-oop pass and collided with LeBron James on his way down, causing him to land awkwardly on his leg on the court.
Immediately, you could tell that this could be a possible season-ending injury for the small forward, as his foot was seen pointing in the opposite direction than what it should have been.
After receiving treatment on the court, the 27-year-old left the court on a stretcher with a protective sleeve around his leg. After further evaluation, it was revealed he had dislocated his ankle and fractured his tibia.
This nasty injury comes at a bad time for Hayward, as he just signed a four-year, $128 million maximum contract with the team during the summer with Boston after he averaged 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game last season for the Utah Jazz.
With his move to the Celtics, he looked like he could have become an emerging star in the NBA season, but this injury means that is no longer a possibility, as he will now likely miss the rest of the season.
According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, after he was taken off the court on a stretcher, and after seeing the severity of the injury, Cavaliers stars LeBron James and Isaiah Thomas did something special for Hayward and went to see him in the locker room area during halftime of the game.
This is a great gesture from both players, as they both showed in this moment that there are more important things in life than basketball as they went to give their support to the Celtics star during this awful time for him.
This is just a brutal injury to see happen for any player in any sport at any point in their career. Hopefully, Hayward is able to make a speedy recovery and fingers crossed he is back and playing on the court for Boston very soon.