In a traumatic and shocking on-court development, halfway through the opening quarter of the Celtics-Cavs game, Gordon Hayward suffered a leg injury as the Celtic landed hard while trying to catch a pass.
Hayward collided in the air with LeBron James and Jae Crowder, and immediately appeared badly wounded, with his foot twisted in an unnatural angle. You can watch the video below, but be aware that it’s disturbing.
“Hayward has broken his leg,” legendary announcer Kevin Harlan shouted on TNT. It later turned out that Hayward had not broken his leg. Rather, he has a fractured ankle.
What’s the nature of his injury? How many games will he miss? What’s the recovery time?
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Viewers Were Stunned to Watch the Injury Occur on Television
“Hayward has broken his leg, Hayward has broken his leg,” the announcer shouted as the injury occurred. You can see Hayward writhing on the floor and clutching his leg in the disturbing video.
“Hayward’s left ankle turned at such an odd angle that teammates stood in shock as he motioned for help from the sideline,” ESPN reported.
2. Hayward Fractured His Ankle, the Team Confirmed
Although at first people thought he had broken his leg, the team quickly confirmed that Hayward had actually suffered an ankle injury. The Boston Globe reported that the injury is to Hayward’s left ankle.
“The team later announced that Hayward fractured the ankle,” ESPN reported, adding, “Fans gave Hayward a standing ovation as he was taken from the court with his entire left leg immobilized in an air cast. He was immediately taken to the Cavaliers locker room for more evaluation.”
3. Hayward Could Be Out For 4-5 Months but the Injury Is Still Being Assessed
Obviously, Hayward is receiving medical attention, and it’s hard to know immediately how many games he will miss. However, a fractured ankle is serious business.
“It is unclear how long Hayward will be out, but given the gruesome nature of his injury, he could be gone for the season,” SB Nation reported.
“Dr. Chris Chihlas (Southcoast Health Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine) on @NBCSBoston believes Gordon Hayward will return in 4-5 months,” a local radio host tweeted.
4. Odell Beckham Suffered a Similar Injury in Early October
Hayward is the second pro athlete to suffer a fractured ankle this month. A prominent football player suffered a similar injury in early October.
CBS Sports reported in early October that New York Giants’ wide receiver Odell Beckham “got hurt in a bad way…Beckham reinjured the same ankle he hurt in the preseason on a nasty looking play. The Giants confirmed that Beckham suffered a fractured injury and the team said he may require surgery.”
Plus, the Green Bay Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone, possibly taking him out for the season.
5. Hayward Was Supposed to Be a Key Player on the Celtics Team This Season
The injury was even more startling because the Celtics had just signed Hayward, and they were counting on him to deliver big for the team this season.
“The Celtics signed Hayward to a near-max contract after he led the Utah Jazz to their most successful season this decade. He was set to become the premier wing player for a Boston Big 3 that also featured Kyrie Irving and Al Horford,” SBNation reported.