Gordon Hayward Fractures Ankle, Leg vs. Cavaliers, Stretchered off Court

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 17, 2017

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)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Boston Celtics star Gordon Hayward was forced to leave Tuesday's season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena with a fractured left ankle less than six minutes into the game. 

Hayward's "foot looked to be at a 90 degree angle from his leg," as the Washington Post's Tim Bontemps described it, and he was stretchered off the floor.

After the game, head coach Brad Stevens told reporters Hayward had suffered a fractured tibia and a dislocated ankle. 

ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported LeBron James went back to the locker room to check on Hayward at the end of the first quarter. Isaiah Thomas, who recruited Hayward to come to the Celtics during the summer, also joined him in the locker room, according to Windhorst.

Losing Hayward for an extended stretch would be devastating after the team signed him to a four-year, $128 million deal this offseason.

The 27-year-old joined the Celtics after the best year of his career with the Utah Jazz, where he earned his first All-Star berth while setting new personal bests with 21.9 points and 5.4 assists per game. He also showcased impressive efficiency with a 53.6 effective shooting percentage.

With Hayward sidelined, the Celtics figure to turn to their young pair of No. 3 overall picks, Jaylen Brown and rookie Jayson Tatum, to fill the void.