BOSTON (WHDH) — Celtics star forward Gordon Hayward underwent surgery late Wednesday night to repair a dislocated ankle and fractured tibia after suffering a horrific fall on opening night in his first game with Boston. Hayward’s surgery was a complete success, but his agent says it’s unlikely that he’ll return to the floor this season.
Before going under the knife, Hayward recorded a message from his hospital bed thanking fans for their encouraging thoughts and prayers. That emotional message was played on the big screen before the Celtics’ home opener against the Milwaukee Bucks.
“I’m going to be all right,” said Hayward. “It’s hurting me that I can’t be there for the home opener. 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.”
Fans lined up to sign a banner urging Gordon Hayward to “come back stronger than ever.” One player wrote his injured teammate’s initials on his shoe.
Head coach Brad Stevens visited Hayward prior to surgery, saying it was “really tough to see him go through this.” Stevens coached Hayward at Butler University before the two transitioned to the NBA.
Hayward’s agent Mark Bartelstein told 7News that doctors “got everything fixed” during surgery. He credited the medical staff with doing a “wonderful” job.
Bartelstein says Hayward is going to attack his rehab process, but a return this season likely won’t be in the cards for the 27-year-old. He did say his client would be back “better than he was before.”
The team has not officially announced a timetable for Hayward’s recovery process.
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