(REUTERS) - Australian centre Andrew Bogut suffered a fractured left tibia just 58 seconds into his Cleveland Cavaliers debut on Monday, with the team reporting that he could be out for the rest of the season.
The 32-year-old, a former champion with the Golden State Warriors, signed as a free agent with Cleveland for the remainder of the campaign last week and joined the team before Monday's game after resolving visa issues.
However, with 11min 38sec left in the second quarter, Bogut ran out to the perimeter to guard Miami's Okaro White and the pair made contact, with the Australian landing badly on his left ankle and hobbling before falling to the court.
His new team-mates helped carry him to the locker room and the Cavaliers later said X-rays revealed a fracture that could end his season.
"It's very deflating," Cleveland forward LeBron James told reporters after the Cavaliers' 106-98 defeat.
"As soon as the collision happened, I heard a break. When I went over to him and he said it, I already knew, I heard it crack," he added.
When he was carried off, it was like the air had been sucked out of the building and the Cavs seemed to be distracted by the incident after talking with Bogut in the locker room at half-time before he was sent to the hospital.
"How would you think his spirit's like? He played 58 seconds," James added.
"And to have an injury like that to take you out for the rest of the season, possibly, and you really, there's not much you can say."