Boston Celtics star Gordon Hayward is beginning his long road to recovery after suffering a gruesome injury in the season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers that ended his campaign.
The former Utah Jazz star has been in good spirits recently and has made a number of public appearances as he comes to terms with his disappointment.
He has conducted a number of media interviews over the past week opening up about his experience, with the latest on ESPN prior to the Celtics' game against the Los Angeles Lakers last night.
Hayward sat down with franchise legend and now ESPN analyst Paul Pierce and revealed how he has received both help and inspiration from former Lakers star Kobe Bryant.
"Another person that has lifted me up and that I've been in touch with is Kobe (Bryant). He sent that Instagram post, and he's emailed me a couple times too, just talking about attacking each day, set many goals and that's my mindset," Hayward said.
"How can I get better with my ankle today? Be better today than I was yesterday? I think if I slowly work like that, I'll be back before I know it."
Bryant took to Instagram immediately following the small forward's injury and posted a powerful motivational message, which was a classy touch from the future Hall of Famer.
The All-Star has been ruled out for the entire season with the fractured ankle and is aiming to recover fully in time for the 2018/19 campaign.
Despite not being able to put any weight on his foot as he still keeps it in a protective boot, Hayward has been putting shots up from a chair, both from the free-throw line and from halfcourt.
The 27-year-old has vowed to come back stronger than ever and has begun that process by returning to the weight room and doing other things to help his strength and conditioning.
In his absence, the Celtics are on a roll and secured their 10th successive victory by beating the Lakers 107-96.
Many predicted the loss to Hayward would derail Boston's season but, if anything, it has galvanised them and they're currently the best team in the Eastern Conference and have the best record in the NBA at 10-2.
Kyrie Irving has taken the responsibility of leading the team and has been in terrific form to start the season and is slowly justifying his decision to leave Cleveland.