Gordon Hayward, the All-Star forward of the Boston Celtics, will not be able to return in the 2017-18 NBA season after sustaining an injury Tuesday night. Hayward underwent a successful surgery on Wednesday night, but he needs time off the court to fully recover.
Hayward’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that the Celtics forward is unlikely to return this season post-surgery. Hayward had a dislocated ankle and a fractured left tibia during his Celtics debut last Tuesday. The surgery was successful, and Bartelstein assured:
“We expect him to make a full recovery and return to his All-Star form.”
Before the Celtics’ game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, a video message from Hayward was aired. He thanked everybody for prayers and thoughts, and said that he will be “all right.” He also expressed his sadness for not being able to be with his teammates and play in the home opener.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said this setback is really tough for Hayward because he wanted to start his NBA career with the Celtics really well. That emotional pain is more than the physical pain to it, he added.
But while they expect tough days during his recovery, Stevens expressed that they are optimistic Gordon will have a full recovery. He added that the team really cares for Hayward and that they certainly would miss him. But for now, the Boston Celtics will have to find a replacement for Hayward. Stevens said that some guys on the team could take advantage of that like those who could have more minutes. As reported by ESPN, the Celtics are considering filling Hayward’s spot on the roster. On Wednesday, they brought in rookie Jabari Bird.
Other athletes reacted to Hayward’s injury. Paul George of Oklahoma City Thunder said he felt devastated and nauseous watching the incident happen. George suffered a compound leg fracture in August 2014. George talked to Hayward and gave him words of encouragement, he told reporters, via NBA.com.
Former NFL quarterback Joe Theismann said Hayward’s injury “sickens” him and wrote on Twitter that he felt bad for the Celtics forward. Theismann broke his right leg in 1985 when he was 36 and he did not appear in another NFL game, Idaho Statesman reported.
Brooklyn Nets’ Jeremy Lin, who also wrote on Twitter that he felt awful for Hayward, had his right knee injured at the opening game against the Indiana Pacers. Wojnarowski said there is a tremendous concern about his injury and he would undergo an evaluation in New York Thursday.
[Featured Image by Jim Mone/AP Images]