Gordon Hayward Hopes To Play Before Season Ends

Celtics forward Gordon Hayward hasn’t given up on trying to play again this season, relays Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe.

The prize free agent addition, who left Utah this summer for a four-year, $128MM contract with Boston, suffered a devastating injury in the season’s first game, a dislocation/fracture in his left ankle that required surgery and left him sidelined indefinitely.
Hayward has made progress in the more than seven weeks since the injury, Himmelsbach reports. His cast was removed two weeks after the operation and replaced by a walking boot, which is now being phased out for a small brace. He stopped using crutches last week and is able to shoot baskets while standing up.

“It’s definitely in the back of my mind,” Hayward said about the possibility of returning to the court this season. “I’m definitely pushing to get back as fast as I can, while making sure that I still have a lot of good years of basketball in me. And coming back early and hurting something else is not part of that plan. So I’m making sure that if I come back, I’m one-thousand percent confident in myself and my leg. I hope more than anything I can play this season. That would be awesome. But that’s not something I’m stressing about. I’m stressing about what I can do today to help myself get better.”

Hayward’s trainer, Jason Smeathers, leads him through daily sessions at the Celtics’ practice facility. The workouts include massage therapy, range-of-motion exercises, weightlifting and shooting practice. Each night, he does another hour of rehab work at home.
Hayward hopes to get rid of the walking boot completely in about two weeks, and his schedule calls for three months in the brace. That takes him into late March and leaves a small possibility that he could be back in action before the season ends April 11.
The Celtics are being careful with Hayward and have said they don’t expect him to play again this season. He understands it’s unlikely, but remains too competitive to dismiss the possibility entirely.

“I feel like for me it’s better to just tell myself, ‘Let’s be better today than I was yesterday,’ and then keep doing that day in and day out,” Hayward said. “And if it happens to get to the point where the season’s still going on and I can play, then, like, that’s awesome.”

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3 thoughts on “Gordon Hayward Hopes To Play Before Season Ends

  1. Thomas Swanson

    Paul George was able to return late in season on restricted minutes after he broke his leg during summer.

  2. Reflect

    I can see a return in the playoffs. I think that’s what Heyward is really going for, he just doesn’t want to jynx it.

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