Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward suffered a gruesome ankle injury during Tuesday’s home opener against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Hayward, 27, was just 5 minutes into his team debut when he went down.
Hayward dislocated his left ankle after landing awkwardly on his leg halfway through the 1st quarter with the Celtics up by 3 points. It was later determined that the 6’8″, former Utah Jazz star broke his left tibia as well.
“Oh my goodness, Hayward broke his leg. Hayward has broken his leg. Hayward has broken his leg,” said sports announcer Kevin Harlan. His stunned colleague, Reggie Miller, added “This is unbelievable.”
The injury happened right in front of the Cavs bench as the players and fans reacted emotionally.
Former Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade, who made his Cavs debut on Tuesday, dropped to one knee on the court while team doctors stabilized Hayward’s leg.
The ghastly scene was reminiscent of Paul George‘s leg injury during a 2014 Team USA scrimmage.
LeBron visited Hayward in the locker room and other Cavs players sent their well-wishes to Hayward.
“It’s tough. I’ve seen a few injuries in my career, and I’ve had a few,” said Kyrie Irving, who started in his first game in a Celtics uniform. “Probably two of the worst ones I’ve been in the game watching — one was [George] at USA, and this one tonight. It’s not a great sight to see, but you gotta pick yourself up. Just keep on fighting, man. We understand that [Hayward], God willing, will be fine, and we’re going to continue to pray for him and be there for him as best we can.”
The Cavs won the game by a score of 102-99.
Gordon Hayward suffers a devastating left ankle/leg injury. pic.twitter.com/im9Z902xfy
— Devon Haripal (@DevonHaripalNBA) October 18, 2017