BOSTON – After going through a series of tests earlier today, the results confirmed what the Celtics’ medical officials had determined earlier which is Hayward has a dislocated left ankle and a fractured tibia.
Gordon Hayward will have surgery on his left ankle tonight, according to a league source.
“We’re expecting this to be a full recovery,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens who added, “No timeline on it but a full recovery.”
Hayward suffered the injury in the first quarter of Boston’s 102-99 loss at Cleveland on Tuesday.
The 6-foot-8 All-Star landed awkwardly on his ankle after a lob pass by Kyrie Irving was deflected by LeBron James.
Players from both teams were visibly affected by the gruesome injury that puts Hayward’s return this season very much up in the air.
“He’s down, obviously,” Stevens said of Hayward. “There’s a physical pain to it, but that’s also doubled by the emotional pain. He put a lot of effort into trying to start this, his career out well in Boston.”
Stevens said Marcus Smart will be inserted into the starting lineup, joining Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford.
It would take some salary-cap machinations for New York to lure Irving to play close to where he grew up in West Orange, N.J. They would likely have to risk losing Kristaps Porzingis in free agency next summer by not giving him a big-money extension this season.
There's also a potential pursuit of Kevin Durant in free agency next summer as the Knicks - playoff-less since 2013 and title-less for 45 years - make another attempt to spend their way back to relevance.
Irving has made it clear he's not going to cost himself millions by signing an extension with the C's this season ("Contractually, financially, it just doesn’t make any sense”) and is headed to free agency, so, with training camp more than a month away, get used to a season full of questions about his future. And expect the Knicks speculation to heat up before the four C's-Knicks games (Oct. 20 and Feb. 6 in New York and Nov. 21 and Dec. 6 in Boston).
A few minutes before his Rozier tweet, Ainge saw a video tweeted by Cal athletic director Jim Knowlton of Jaylen Brown showing his skills on the piano at the Berkeley campus' Sproul Plaza. Brown spent a year at Cal before being drafted by Boston in 2016.
Ainge couldn't resist a jab at Brown's ball-handling skills.