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A day after suffering a fractured tibia and dislocated ankle during the 2017-18 regular-season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena, Boston Celtics star Gordon Hayward addressed fans ahead of the team's home opener Wednesday against the Milwaukee Bucks at TD Garden.
Via a recorded statement, the 27-year-old thanked those who sent their thoughts and prayers and also stated he will be all right.
"It's hurting me that I can't be there for the home opener," he said. "I want nothing more than to be with my teammates and walk out on that floor tonight, but I'll be supporting you guys from here and wishing you the best of luck."
The Celtics also honored Hayward during player introductions:
NBC Sports Boston @NBCSBoston
#Celtics fans give Gordon Hayward a standing ovation at the TD Garden https://t.co/9Mnb8Ip99k2017-10-18 23:41:57
Update: Boston fans offered their own tributes by chanting Hayward's name while Milwaukee players attempted free throws:
Only In Boston @OnlyInBOS
Gordon Hayward chants rain over TD Garden while Milwaukee shoots free throws... ☘ https://t.co/4Hyh3zaO822017-10-19 00:34:38
Celtics on NBCSB @NBCSCeltics
'Gordon Hayward' chants during an Antetokounmpo free throw https://t.co/YHExl6TdJe2017-10-19 00:37:52