Boston Celtics small forward Gordon Hayward was the victim of a horrifying injury on the opening night of the NBA season, and now he's opening up about the details of the incident.
Hayward revealed in a Facebook blog post Wednesday that he initially wasn't in a lot of pain:
Immediately, I knew something was off, but when I landed, it wasn’t a huge amount of pain. I rolled over and saw my foot, and it was pointed in completely the wrong direction. My first thought was, “Oh. This isn’t good. There’s something very wrong here.” I felt a sense of panic come over me and signaled to the ref, “Hey, look at this. You’ve got to stop the game.” And still, it didn’t seem like it was hurting that much.
Then all of a sudden, it came.
It was like once my brain figured out what had happened, I was hit with shots of pain. The training staff came running over to me super fast, but however long it was—three seconds, five seconds—I just remember sitting there, looking at my foot the wrong way, and it felt like an eternity. Dr. Rosneck, the Cavaliers doctor, braced me as he explained that they wanted to try and pop my ankle back into place. I held on, and the moment they did it, there was just a massive shot of pain, probably the most pain I’ve ever felt in my life.
Hayward, shockingly, is already out of a hard cast, and shooting baskets from the safe confines of a chair. He's in good spirits, thanks to his wife, Robyn, and was even able to partake in some Halloween fun on Tuesday.
Hayward, who inked a lucrative four-year, $128-million U.S. deal with the Celtics this past summer, fractured his left tibia and dislocated his ankle just minutes into his Boston debut. He's received messages of encouragement and support from retired NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, and even from former President of the United States, Barack Obama.
The 27-year-old is not expected to return this season, but the Celtics are managing just fine without him, sitting atop the Eastern Conference standings with a 5-2 record heading into action Wednesday night. Hayward earned his first All-Star nod last year, averaging nearly 22 points and just over five rebounds in 73 games for the Utah Jazz.