The Celtics believe Gordon Hayward will back on the court before their Christmas matchup with Toronto, tweets Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Coach Brad Stevens offered the updated prognosis for Hayward, who has been sidelined since November 9 with a fractured bone in his left hand.
President of basketball operations Danny Ainge said in a radio interview yesterday that Hayward remains ahead of schedule in his rehab and could return to practice by Saturday, relays Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston. The veteran forward was originally projected to be sidelined for about six weeks.
“I don’t want to get ahead of myself and get too excited about it, but I think he’s progressing really well,” Ainge said in an appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher & Rich.”
Hayward began conditioning, non-contact and shooting drills last week and consulted with his doctors Monday on FaceTime, Hartwell adds. He has also been working out with the team’s assistant coaches.
Hayward appeared to regain his All-Star form early this season after being fully recovered from a severe ankle injury suffered on opening night of the 2017/18 campaign. He was averaging 18.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists through eight games.