The 2017-18 NBA season started on a somber note as Gordon Hayward sustained a fractured ankle in a gruesome injury in the opening matchup of the season. The injury was reminiscent of those sustained in previous years by Paul George and Kevin Ware.
The Cleveland arena immediately fell silent as team trainers attended to Hayward. He was carted off the floor in an air cast, and met with a standing ovation by opposing Cavs fans.
Here’s a look at photos moments after the incident courtesy of Getty.
This is a still image from the television broadcast. A word of caution, the image below graphically shows the ankle injury.
The camera also captured Dwyane Wade praying for Hayward moments after the play.
Jaylen Brown appears to be in shock after seeing the injury.
Initially, many feared Hayward broke his leg, but the diagnosis centers around Hayward’s ankle. Kevin Harlan noted on the TNT broadcast Hayward had broken his leg. This was simply Harlan’s reaction moments after the play.
Hayward was flown via MedFlight to NE Baptist Hospital in Boston for further treatment.
Dr. Chris Chihlas, a Boston area doctor, speculated Hayward could return in 4-5 months.
Based on how severe the injury looked, this would be good news in what was a horrific turn of events. It makes it even more disappointing that Hayward was not even a quarter into his debut with the Celtics. Hayward had spent his first seven seasons with the Jazz then signed with Celtics as a free agent over the 2017 off-season.
Here was some of the Twitter responses from athletes all over the country.