By JUSTIN STEVENS
Boston Celtics star forward Gordon Hayward was removed from the Celtics season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers with a dislocated ankle and a fractured tibia.
The injury, which was difficult to watch, occurred around five minutes into the first quarter after a collision in air with a Cavs player. When Hayward came down he landed awkwardly, twisting his leg and his foot was caught underneath his body. Immediately the camera shifted to Hayward and all you saw was an extremely deformed ankle.
Players on the court were visibly distraught by the injury, with many crowding around Hayward and praying. Play stopped immediately and medical crews came out to support Hayward and he was quickly taken to the locker room and rushed to a hospital.
The next day it was announced that Hayward underwent a successful surgery in Boston to repair his injured leg. No time table has been set for Hayward’s return. The injury is very similar to the same on sustained by NBA Superstar Paul George during a Team USA scrimmage in 2014. George was out for eight months before returning to basketball.
“You really feel for him,” said Celtics Coach Brad Stevens. He later added, “We’re expecting a full recovery.”
Hayward’s agent, Mark Bartelstein expects his client to miss the entire season.
Overall, this is a tragedy for the player and the team. Hayward came to the Celtics this summer after signing a four-year, $128 million contract. He joined the Celtics from the Utah Jazz to reconnect with his former college coach, Brad Stevens.
Bleacher Report and ESPN both wrote fantastic articles on Hayward and had pictures complementing the story. Without showing the injury, they achieved great storytelling and reporting. Sports Illustrated went a different route and brought in an orthopediest to help viewers understand the severity of the injury.
All news media publications gave Hayward the space to not show his injury, which has already dramatically changed his life.