Gordon Hayward suffered a gruesome ankle fracture in the Boston Celtics’ 102-99 season-opening loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on Tuesday night.

Gordon Hayward Leg Injury News

The forward left the contest less than six minutes in, and his new teammate Kyrie Irving said the injury was among the most brutal he’d ever witnessed.

“It’s tough. I’ve seen a few injuries in my career and I’ve had a few,” Irving said. “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.”

Hayward’s leg bent awkwardly after he jumped for an alley-oop pass and crashed into LeBron James.


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Irving added that the injury reminded him of one Paul George sustained during a 2014 Team USA scrimmage.

James also said he thought of George’s injury, but also compared it to the fracture Kentucky star Kevin Ware suffered during the NCAA tournament in 2013.

Hayward — who was acquired in the offseason after playing seven seasons with the Utah Jazz — was stretchered off the court as players from both teams watched in disbelief.

The Celtics led by three points at the time of Hayward’s injury, but soon trailed by 18.

One person who drew severe criticism for his comments on Hayward’s fracture was Skip Bayless. The Fox Sports’ “Undisputed” host tweeted:  “If Gordon Hayward is gone, maybe for the season, LeBron’s path to losing a sixth finals gets even easier.”

Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, who often notes just how low ratings “Undisputed” get, responded via Twitter:  “No ratings tweets on this one. Just a reminder that executives have paid this clownf––– sports TV goon millions and it’s sickening.”

Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan was also incensed, and tweeted: “You’re a clown for that tweet after a man gets hurt with a potential career ending injury! [Expletive] bigger then [sic] basketball!”

The Celtics next host the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night, while the Cavaliers will visit Milwaukee on Friday.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens, who previously coached Hayward at Butler University, was clearly stung by the forward’s injury. It was Stevens who played a crucial role in enticing Hayward to sign a four-year, $128 million contract with Boston this summer.

“He’s put in a lot of great work. And I thought he had his most comfortable week as far as feeling like he was going to play really well,” said Stevens. “But now we’ll hopefully get a full recovery, right? And so it’s a tough deal, but I guess that’s part of it, the risk of injury. I really feel for him.”

CHARLOTTE, NC – OCTOBER 11: Gordon Hayward #20 of the Boston Celtics watches on against the Charlotte Hornets during their game at Spectrum Center on October 11, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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