Boston Celtics guard Gordon Hayward has been limited to five minutes this season, but there is the longshot possibility that he could play again.
Hayward landed awkwardly during the season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers and broke his ankle in gruesome fashion. The Celtics have not stated that Hayward could play again this season, but his progress is encouraging.
While the Celtics have not put a timeframe on this injury, which would seemingly end Hayward’s season, general manager Danny Ainge did say on local radio that his prized summer acquisition is close to removing his walking boot.
“He's doing really well; His therapy is going great,” Ainge told the “Toucher and Rich" show. "He's right on schedule. He’s doing sometimes two workouts a day and trying to get stronger. The next phases are getting out of the boot completely, but I still think that he’s a couple weeks away from being permanently out of the boot.”
Hayward has not expressed an interest in returning this season, although Ainge conceded that he likely wants to. The GM also added that Hayward has been “diligent” in his rehab program.
The Celtics have played exceptionally well in Hayward’s absence, surging to the top spot in the Eastern Conference with Kyrie Irving leading the way. Boston is 22-4, which is good for the top record in the league. The Houston Rockets are the only other team that has lost just four games.
Rookie Jayson Tatum and sophomore Jaylen Brown have both given head coach Brad Stevens a large lift at the wing positions. Al Horford has also returned to form from when the Celtics lured him away from the Atlanta Hawks with a massive free-agent contract.
The Celtics will look to keep their hot play going when they visit the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night. Keep it here on AXS.com for more NBA news and tickets to select games.