Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward suffered a horrific leg injury just minutes into his Celtics debut last night, and although it's possible he could return this season he has a long road to recovery ahead of him.

In the wake of Hayward's injury, several NBA players and other athletes across all sports sent their support and well wishes to the 27-year old All-Star, who had just signed a four-year, $128 million contract with the Celtics in July. 

Today, Kobe Bryant, who completely understands everything that Hayward is going through right now, took to instagram to share an inspirational message. In 2013, towards the end of his career, Kobe tore his achilles and underwent a daunting rehabilitation process just to be able to return to the court for a few more seasons.

Needless to say, Kobe is more than qualified to comment on Gordon Hayward's emotions right now. The Black Mamba is also fully aware of what lies ahead for Hayward and he explained the best way to get through this difficult time while always looking ahead to the future.

Here's some of what Bryant wrote:

Be sad. Be mad. Be frustrated. Scream. Cry. Sulk. When you wake up you will think it was just a nightmare only to realize it’s all too real. 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, ask all the questions to be sure you understand fully the procedure so that you may visualize it in your subconscious while being operated on and better the chance of it’s success.

...

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.

...

You will be so appreciative of being able to stand, walk, run that you will train harder than you ever have. 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.

Check out Kobe's full IG post below.

Be sad. Be mad. Be frustrated. Scream. Cry. Sulk. When you wake up you will think it was just a nightmare only to realize it’s all too real. 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, ask all the questions to be sure you understand fully the procedure so that you may visualize it in your subconscious while being operated on and better the chance of it’s success. 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. This will also mean that when you return you will have a new perspective. You will be so appreciative of being able to stand, walk, run that you will train harder than you ever have. 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.

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