Hayward’s Horrible Injury Is Searing Image Of NBA As Cavaliers Defeat Celtics

An Injury To Kick Off The Celtics’ Season There are injuries, and there are injuries. We don’t want to start listing all the gruesome ones we’ve seen, but surely...

An Injury To Kick Off The Celtics’ Season

There are injuries, and there are injuries. We don’t want to start listing all the gruesome ones we’ve seen, but surely you’ve got your own little mental list.

Once seen, they cannot be unseen. They linger in memory, a constant reminder that the games we love can be dangerous.

Gordon Hayward, the prime free-agent catch of the Boston Celtics this offseason, lasted about five minutes of the opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night. He went up for an alley-oop pass, collided with LeBron James and landed with his left leg, particularly his ankle, bent in a direction completely alien to human physiology.

Players covered their mouths and looked away. An aircast was put on the leg and Hayward left on a stretcher.

The Cavaliers went on to win 102-99 against their primary rival in the NBA’s Eastern Conference and afterward Celtics coach Brad Stevens talked about what happened to Hayward.

Dislocated ankle, Stevens said. Fractured tibia, Stevens said. Surgery on Wednesday is likely.

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

You may never want to see the injury on a replay. But let us hope we see Hayward make a swift and healthy return to the game he plays so well. And let’s hope we don’t see another injury like this one.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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