Gordon Hayward.

Kobe Bryant takes to Instagram to provide words of encouragement to Gordon Hayward

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The entire NBA world has rallied around to offer their thoughts and prayers to Boston Celtics star Gordon Hayward after he suffered a horrible injury in the season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The reactions of both sets of players told the story of how bad it was and the player underwent surgery in Boston yesterday to repair what was diagnosed as a dislocated left ankle and a fractured tibia.

His agent, Mark Bartelstein, told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that Hayward is unlikely to play again this season but expects him to "make a full recovery and return to his All-Star form".

Many thoughts must've been going through the 27-year-old's mind at that time, with the worst being whether it would end his career.

Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant knows the feeling and has been through the same emotions.

Four years ago, the 'Black Mamba' ruptured his Achilles tendon and didn't know if he'd be able to continue his career.

Of course, Bryant was coming towards the end of his illustrious spell in the NBA at that time, but for Hayward, this was a new chapter with the Celtics and has aspirations to win a championship and continue playing for many more years.

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In an inspirational message on Instagram, Kobe sent words of encouragement to the small forward detailing how he can make a full recovery and overcome this horrific setback.

Here is some of what Bryant wrote:

"Be sad. Be mad. Be frustrated. Scream. Cry. Sulk. When you wake up you will think it was just a nightmare only to realize it’s all too real.

"Time to move on and focus on doing everything in your power to prepare for surgery, ask all the questions to be sure you understand fully the procedure so that you may visualize it in your subconscious while being operated on and better the chance of it’s success.

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"It’s a long journey but if you focus on the mini milestones along the way you will find beauty in the struggle of doing simple things that prior to this injury were taken for granted.

"You will be so appreciative of being able to stand, walk, run that you will train harder than you ever have. You see the belief within you grow with each mini milestone and you will come back a better player for it. Best of luck to you on this journey my brother #mambamentality always."

The message was emotional and hugely motivational and was a classy touch by one of the game's greatest ever players.

Bryant encountered adversity at many times throughout his career both on and off the court and was able to keep fighting and doing what he does best on the floor.

Hopefully, this will inspire Hayward to make a full and speedy recovery and return to his All-Star best.

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