BOSTON – It didn’t take long before footage from Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert’s right ankle injury made its way to Gordon Hayward.
The injury suffered by LeVert on Monday against Minnesota had similarities for many to the season-ending ankle injury suffered by Hayward last year.
“I didn’t see it live,” said Hayward, who has returned to the Celtics lineup this year after missing all of last season following his left ankle/leg injury. “I hate to see that. I heard the timeline (for LeVert’s return) is a little better, but still … he was playing really well. You hate injuries for anybody; it’s tough.”
All things considered, the news is indeed optimistic for LeVert, who is expected to return to the Nets lineup at some point this season.
“Fortunately, tests performed revealed that there are no fractures and only moderate ligament damage,” Nets team orthopedist Dr. Martin O’Malley said in a statement. “While the optics of this injury may have appeared to be more severe, surgery will not be required.”
LeVert, in an attempted chase-down block with 3.7 seconds to play in the first half of Brooklyn’s game against Minnesota, came down hard on his right leg after a collision with Jeff Teague.
He was carted off the court and taken to a nearby hospital for further evaluation.
At the time of his injury, LeVert had 10 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds, the kind of stat line that spoke to the kind of breakout season the third-year guard was having.
In 14 games this season, LeVert is averaging 18.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists – all career highs.
Hayward was among the many to tweet their support for LeVert as he begins the road to recovery.
“For sure, anytime somebody goes through a major injury you feel for them,” Hayward said. “And what I’ve been through, I know first-hand what it’s like.”
For Hayward, having others reach out to him, both athletes and non-athletes, following his injury last year was extremely beneficial in helping keep his spirits up as he began his journey toward getting back on the basketball floor this season.
“The fact that people cared, especially initially,” Hayward said. “Even people who hadn’t gone through an injury, you’re getting like random people that saw the injury took the time to reach out and show support. That meant a lot to me.”
And he’s willing to be there for LeVert if needed.
“If he ever needs to reach out, he knows how to get a hold of me,” Hayward said.
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