After helping the Celtics beat the Cavaliers, Gordon Hayward spoke about the nerves he felt returning to the site of his gruesome injury.
Gordon Hayward admits he was feeling anxious ahead of his first return to the Quicken Loans Arena since suffering a gruesome ankle injury that robbed him of last season.
The Celtics forward contributed 18 points off 9-for-14 shooting, as well as five assists and six rebounds in the 103-96 victory over the Cavaliers.
It marked the first time Hayward had played at Cleveland’s venue since he was injured in his Celtics debut in the 2017-18 season opener and missed the entire season.
Speaking about his return, Hayward said: “I told my wife I was a little anxious about it for sure.
“I was sitting in my hotel room last night, thinking about how everything changed, where I was sitting a year ago from now, just trying to find some perspective, I guess, and happy I was out there.
“I just [thought about] the aftermath of everything, sitting in the X-ray room, the people that were there, the people back in the locker room with me, some of the phone calls I remember after it happened.”
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Those anxieties wore off quickly for Hayward, who was content with his showing.
“After I got up and was running around for a little bit [the nerves] were gone, but warming up and even at shootaround this morning [they were there],” he added.
“I thought it was an OK performance, just finding some perspective and realizing where I was last year and now.
“I was pretty joyful to even be out there. I even got a dunk and that was cool.”