The Boston Celtics' Gordon Hayward — a prized free agent acquisition during this past offseason — landed awkwardly on his leg less than six minutes into his first regular season game with the team, with his left ankle being turned nearly 90 degrees. The injury was sustained as Hayward went up for an attempted alley-oop from his new teammate, Kyrie Irving.
It's one of the most gruesome injuries we've ever seen, so be prepared for what you're about to witness. Remember, as the headline reads, this is definitely not safe for work:
The scene was so bad that players from both the Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers couldn't bear to watch. With the Cavs-Celtics being the only NBA game going on at the moment, social media reacted with nothing but ongoing support from those watching on TV. Here are some of the words of encouragement and shock from both fellow players and fans on Twitter:
The last tweet listed above, from Golden State Warriors backup guard Shaun Livingston, is from someone who experienced an injury nearly as horrific as Hayward just did. And the one from JJ Watt hits close to home because, just a few weeks ago, the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year sustained a leg injury that has put him on the shelf for the foreseeable future.
UPDATE: It's being reported from TNT reporter Kristen Ledlow that Hayward's injury was a fractured ankle, per her Twitter:
We'll continue to update you with information as we receive it. For now, thoughts with Gordon Heyward, because this is one of those injuries that could very well be career-threatening.