The Utah Jazz are being predicted to make the playoffs this season, but will have to start the season without its top player. Gordon Hayward reportedly broke a finger in his left hand during Friday’s practice.
From the Jazz:
After sustaining an apparent injury to his left hand during today’s practice at Zions Bank Basketball Center, Hayward underwent further examination this afternoon at University of Utah Health Care’s Orthopaedic Center. Following the examination,Jazz physicians Dr. Travis Maak and Dr. Douglas Hutchinson determined that Hayward suffered a fracture of the fourth finger on his left hand.
Hayward will undergo additional evaluation by the Jazz medical staff and further updates will be provided when appropriate.
Hayward’s teammate Rodney Hood described the injury as gruesome:
Rodney hood said he knew Gordon hayward's injury was bad when he saw it. He said he could see the bone
— Tony Jones (@tribjazz) October 8, 2016
Jazz head coach Quin Snyder spoke with reporters after yesterday’s practice and commented on how other players will need to fill Hayward’s important role.
From the Associated Press
Hayward went down Friday when his finger got caught in another player’s jersey during practice. Coach Quin Snyder was already tinkering with lineups with the addition of veterans George Hill, Joe Johnson and Boris Diaw and now must be even more creative.
Snyder explained that everyone and everything can be impacted, from Rodney Hood to Johnson to Dante Exum. How Snyder can put together situation-specific lineups, such as small-ball, will also be affected.
“You don’t want to wallow over things you can’t control,” Snyder said. “More than anything I feel bad for Gordon. It’s not a pity part for the team. Guys have to step up. We’ve got good players and they’re capable of picking up the slack collectively and individually.
“But that doesn’t change the fact that Gordon’s been our best player.”