Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward suffers fractured left ankle

CLEVELAND – Celtics forward Gordon Hayward left Boston’s season opener against the Cavaliers with a gruesome leg injury Tuesday night. Hayward, making his Celtics debut, elevated for an alley-oop early in the first quarter and landed awkwardly on his left leg. His foot appeared to twist to a 90-degree angle.

Boston announced that Hayward had a fractured left ankle.

Reaction to the fall was instantaneous. Referees immediately called a timeout. Celtics and Cavs medical staff rushed on the floor. Players recoiled, stunned. Dwyane Wade took a knee. LeBron James leaned against the scorer’s table, praying. An emotional group of Celtics players hugged each other on the opposite end of the floor. A capacity crowd — energized for the return of Kyrie Irving — stood hushed.

Gordon Hayward sits on the floor after being injured while playing the Cleveland Cavaliers. (Getty)
Gordon Hayward sits on the floor after being injured while playing the Cleveland Cavaliers. (Getty)

Hayward remained on the floor for several minutes. His leg was placed in a sleeve, and he was carted off the floor on a stretcher. Players from both teams rushed to Hayward’s side as he was carted off the floor.

On social media, other players responded quickly. Paul George — who suffered a horrific leg injury of his own in 2014 — tweeted his support. James rushed back to the Cavaliers locker room during a timeout to check on Hayward, who was later moved to the Celtics locker room.

Hayward, 27, signed a four-year, $128 million contract with Boston this offseason.

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