Boston Celtics’ $128m forward Gordon Hayward fractured his ankle in their NBA season opener against Cleveland Cavaliers wednesday.
Hayward collided with LeBron James in mid-air during the first quarter and landed awkwardly, with his left ankle turning at an angle.
Both sets of players were visibly upset by the injury to the 27-year-old before the Cavaliers went on to win 102-99.
Hayward joined the Celtics in July in a deal worth $128m (£97m).
Celtics Head Coach, Brad Stevens, said. “Hopefully we get a full recovery and it’s a tough deal but I guess that’s part of it, the risk of injury. I really feel for him.”
Celtics’ new signing Kyrie Irving was booed during the game on his return to Cleveland, after he asked to leave the Cavaliers in the summer.
Elsewhere, defending champions Golden State Warriors lost 122-121 to Houston Rockets, with James Harden top-scoring with 27 points.
The Warriors thought they had won it with the final shot of the match, but replays showed the ball was still in Kevin Durant’s hand when the buzzer sounded.
Meanwhile, Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic suffered multiple jaw fractures and concussion after a “physical altercation” with teammate Bobby Portis at Tuesday’s practice.
The Bulls said yesterday that Spaniard Mirotic, 26, will be sidelined “indefinitely” and is likely to need surgery. The team is now “evaluating disciplinary action”.
Chicago’s first game of the new NBA season is against Toronto Raptors tonight.