The gruesome injury Gordon Hayward suffered on opening night in Cleveland means he won't get a chance to make his regular-season debut at the Boston Garden for quite some time.
The Celtics, however, formally welcomed Hayward to Boston by introducing him along with the Celtics starters, and Hayward then addressed the crowd with a video recorded from his hospital bed.
"What's up everybody," Hayward says in the video. "Just want to say thank you to everyone who has had me in their thoughts and prayers.
"I'm gonna be alright. Hurting me that I can't be there for the home opener, but want nothing more than to be with my teammates and walk out on that floor tonight. But I'll be supporting you guys from here, and wishing you the best of luck. Kill it tonight. Thanks guys."
Hayward suffered a dislocated left ankle and fractured left tibia in the first quarter against the Cavaliers on Tuesday. Hayward jumped to try and catch an alley-oop from Kyrie Irving, and when he landed his left leg pinned behind him. Hayward's leg appeared to be severely disfigured, and play was stopped for a few minutes before Hayward was carried off the court.
Hayward is expected to undergo surgery on Wednesday night. There is no timetable for his return.
Hayward spent seven years with the Jazz before signing a max contract with the Celtics this summer. Last season, Hayward, 27, averaged 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists last year.