Less than a quarter into his first game as a member of the Boston Celtics, Gordon Hayward suffered a fractured left tibia and dislocated left ankle in gruesome fashion, dealing a significant blow to a revamped Celtics team that entered the season with title aspirations.
With just under seven minutes to play in the first quarter in Boston's season-opener against the Cavaliers, Hayward came down awkwardly after trying to catch an alley-oop from Kyrie Irving. Hayward's left leg buckled unnaturally under him and his ankle to be severely injured. After the Cavs bench reacted to the image of Hayward's leg in front of them, play was stopped for multiple minutes before Hayward was carried off the court.
Players from both teams rushed to give Hayward words of encouragement before he left the court, and LeBron James reportedly went into the Cavs locker room where Hayward was being treated. Hayward was then transferred to the Celtics locker room before he was flown via MedFlight to Boston, where he will be taken to New England Baptist Hospital, reports Fox Boston's Blair Miller.
Celtics play-by-play announcer Mike Gorman said the fracture appears to be clean, and that there is no ligament damage.
After spending the first seven seasons of his career with the Jazz, Hayward signed a max contract with the Celtics as a free agent this summer. Hayward, 27, averaged 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists last year in Utah.
Video of the injury can be see here. Viewer discretion is advised, as the injury is extremely graphic in nature.