Gordon Hayward undergoes surgery, likely out for the entire season

Just minutes into his debut with the Boston Celtics in the opening game of the 2017-18 NBA season, Gordon Hayward went down with a brutal injury. Later revealed as a broken tibia and a dislocated ankle, Hayward was in visible agony in the aftermath of the play, and the Cavaliers bench reacted with horror at the sight.

Hayward underwent surgery on Wednesday, which his agent Mark Bartelstein called a success. "We expect him to make a full recovery and return to his All-Star form," Bartelstein said.

But even with the surgery a success, Bartelstein told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that Hayward is unlikely to play again this season.

Still, Hayward did make an appearance at the Celtics home opener on Wednesday night, in the form of a video message that was played before tip-off.

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Celtics fans support Gordon Hayward after injury
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Celtics fans support Gordon Hayward after injury
BOSTON - OCTOBER 18: Twelve-year-old Ryan Higgins of West Roxbury signs a giant 'Get Well' card on the wall in the TD Garden concourse, where fans could leave a message for Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward. Hayward was injured in the team's season-opening game in Cleveland the previous night. The Boston Celtics host the Milwaukee Bucks in the team's home season opener at TD Garden in Boston on Oct. 18, 2017. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - OCTOBER 18: Before the game, North Station commuters walk past an ad featuring Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward, who was injured the previous night in the team's season-opening game in Cleveland. The Boston Celtics host the Milwaukee Bucks in the team's home season opener at TD Garden in Boston on Oct. 18, 2017. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - OCTOBER 18: Joshua Cordeiro, left, and John Habershaw, both of Bristol, RI. express their support for Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward, who was injured in the team's season-opening game in Cleveland the previous night. The Boston Celtics host the Milwaukee Bucks in the team's home season opener at TD Garden in Boston on Oct. 18, 2017. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - OCTOBER 18: A young fan holds a sign expressing support for Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward, who was injured in the team's season-opening game in Cleveland the previous night. Another fan next to him sports a #20 Hayward jersey. The Boston Celtics host the Milwaukee Bucks in the team's home season opener at TD Garden in Boston on Oct. 18, 2017. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 18: Gordon Hayward #20 of the Boston Celtics sends a message to fans through a recorded video before the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at TD Garden on October 18, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. Hayward did not attend the game after breaking his ankle the night before in the season opening game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON - OCTOBER 18: Two fans wearing Gordon Hayward #20 and Kyrie Irving #11 jerseys head for their seats before the game. Hayward was injured the previous night during the team's season-opening game in Cleveland. The Boston Celtics host the Milwaukee Bucks in the team's home season opener at TD Garden in Boston on Oct. 18, 2017. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - OCTOBER 18: Fans cheers when a photo of Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward, who was injured the previous night during the team's season-opening game in Cleveland, is shown on the scoreboard before the game. The Boston Celtics host the Milwaukee Bucks in the team's home season opener at TD Garden in Boston on Oct. 18, 2017. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - OCTOBER 18: Matt Stenuis of Belchertown signs a giant 'Get Well' card on the wall in the TD Garden concourse, where fans could leave a message for Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward. Hayward was injured in the team's season-opening game in Cleveland the previous night. The Boston Celtics host the Milwaukee Bucks in the team's home season opener at TD Garden in Boston on Oct. 18, 2017. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
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"What’s up, everybody?" Hayward said, greeted with cheers from the Boston crowd. "I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has kept me in their thoughts and prayers. I’m going to be all right. Hurting me that I can't be there for the home opener. I want nothing more just to be with my teammates and walk out onto that floor tonight, but I'll be supporting you guys from here and I wish you the best of luck. Kill it tonight. Thanks guys."

You can watch a clip of Hayward's message to the crowd below.

Head coach Brad Stevens, who also coached Hayward in college at Butler, said he visited the forward at the hospital the night before the game and described his mood as "down."

"Obviously, there's a physical pain to it," Stevens said. "But I think it's also doubled by the emotional pain of, you know, he put a lot of effort into trying to start this, his career, out well in Boston."

Stevens added that the team would continue to actively support Hayward throughout his recovery. "We'll make sure he knows that we've got our arms around him."

The Celtics went on to lose their home opener to the Milwaukee Bucks 108-100. They'll have their next shot at their first win of the season on Friday when they head to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers.

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