Fans and players alike have been offering their sympathies to Gordon Hayward after he sustained a horrific leg and ankle injury in the Celtics' opener Tuesday against the Cavaliers, but Kobe Bryant's social media message to Hayward stood out.
The former Lakers star took to Instagram to pen an inspirational note to Hayward and give him advice on how to deal with the emotional and physical pain during his recovery.
"You will be angry and wish for the day back, the game back THAT play back. But reality gives nothing back and nor should you. Time to move on and focus on doing everything in your power to prepare for surgery …," Bryant wrote, in part.
"Then focus on the recovery process day by day by day. It’s a long journey but if you focus on the mini milestones along the way you will find beauty in the struggle of doing simple things that prior to this injury were taken for granted."
Hayward dislocated his ankle and broke his leg when he landed badly after he tried to catch an alley-oop pass. He was rushed out of Quicken Loans Arena and sent back to Boston, where he was having CT and MRI exams and expected to undergo surgery.
Bryant, who has come back from his fair share of injuries, ended his message on a positive note, saying Hayward will come out of this injury a stronger person.
"You see the belief within you grow with each mini milestone and you will come back a better player for it. Best of luck to you on this journey my brother. #mambamentality always."