Sportress of Blogitude

Gordon Hayward offers support to Jusuf Nurkic amid gruesome injury

Gordon Hayward has joined the chorus of NBA players sending their best wishes to Jusuf Nurkic after the Portland Trail Blazers center suffered a gruesome leg injury during Monday night’s game.

Nurkic suffered compound fractures to the tibia and fibula in his lower left leg during the double-overtime session of Portland’s 148-144 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

Hayward of course knows a thing or two about the challenges inherent to overcoming a traumatic injury. The Boston Celtics star’s first season with the team lasted barely six minutes as he suffered a fractured tibia and dislocated ankle in his left leg during the 2017-18 season opener.

Now, Hayward hopes to provide Nurkic with support amid such a devastating and grisly setback. In video shared by the Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn, Hayward weighed in on what lies ahead for Nurkic.

“I feel so bad for the guy. He’s having a tremendous year,” Hayward said, as transcribed by Dime Mag. “These things happen. From what I saw, it looked more like (Paul George’s) injury and less like mine. It will be a long road for him, but for sure he can work his way out of it.”

Hayward was also asked if he’s tired of being a reference point any time someone goes down with a particularly disturbing lower body injury.

“It is what it is. Hopefully I can be some inspiration for some people that you can come back. It takes a lot of work, but it’s definitely possible,” he said.

Hayward was remarkably forthright throughout his lengthy rehab about how challenging it is to deal with the daily grind of recovery, but all the hard work paid off, as he shared once he made his return to the court.

It is obviously far too early to predict how rehab and recovery go for Nurkic, but it’s clear that the greater NBA community is 100 percent behind him and will do everything possible to support the Trail Blazer.