Hayward return this season unlikely after surgery - agent

Hayward underwent surgery Wednesday night in Boston to repair a fractured left tibia and dislocated left ankle, injuries he suffered after barely five minutes on the court in Tuesday's season-opening 102-99 loss at Cleveland.

While there is no timetable set for Hayward's return, his agent Mark Bartelstein was asked if a return this season was unrealistic and told the Herald: "I think so."   -  AP

Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward is unlikely to return this season following surgery to repair severe left leg injuries, his agent told ESPN and the Boston Herald in reports Thursday.

Hayward underwent surgery Wednesday night in Boston to repair a fractured left tibia and dislocated left ankle, injuries he suffered after barely five minutes on the court in Tuesday's season-opening 102-99 loss at Cleveland.

Hayward's agent, Mark Bartelstein, told ESPN and the Herald that the former Utah Jazz star - who signed a four-year deal worth $128 million to join the Celtics this season - is unlikely to play again before next season.

While there is no timetable set for Hayward's return, Bartelstein was asked if a return this season was unrealistic and told the Herald: "I think so."

"But that's not what we're looking at right now. There's no timetable. It's a long process. He feels great that the surgery was successful."

He said the break was clean, meaning there was little other damage to Hayward's leg, and "we expect him to make a full recovery and return to his All-Star form".

The Celtics fell to 0-2 with a 108-100 home loss Wednesday to Milwaukee. A video message from Hayward in his hospital bed was played to the crowd before the game.

"I'm going to be all right," Hayward said. "It's hurting me that I can't be there for the home opener. I want nothing more than just to be with my teammates and walk out onto that floor tonight. I'll be supporting you guys from here."

Hayward was trying to score off a lob pass from Kyrie Irving when he collided with Cavaliers star LeBron James and landed awkwardly, with his ankle turning the wrong way in a gruesome injury that shook players on both clubs.

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