Gordon Hayward Expected To Miss Four Weeks With Ankle Injury

The Celtics expect to be without Gordon Hayward for approximately the next four weeks, announcing today (via Twitter) that the forward suffered a Grade III sprain of his right ankle during the fourth quarter of Monday’s Game 1 win over Philadelphia.

Hayward was battling with 76ers center Joel Embiid for position late in the fourth quarter on Monday when he appeared to twisted his right foot and fell to the floor. He was able to limp off the court and back to the locker room, but left the arena on crutches, per Malika Andrews of ESPN (Twitter link). The veteran later underwent an MRI to determine the extent of the injury.

It’s a tough blow for Hayward – who has been plagued by injuries since arriving in Boston in 2017 – and for the Celtics, whose already lean pretty heavily on their top few rotation players.

As Tim Bontemps of ESPN observes, Marcus Smart will likely replace Hayward in the starting lineup, joining Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker, and Daniel Theis. That would leave players like Robert Williams, Enes Kanter, Brad Wanamaker, Romeo Langford, and Grant Williams as Boston’s top bench options.

A four-week recovery timetable for Hayward would rule him out for the rest of the Celtics’ first-round series vs. Philadelphia. Assuming Boston advances to the second round, the 30-year-old may not be available against the team’s next opponent (presumably Toronto) either, since the conference semifinals are scheduled to take place during the first two weeks of September.

Further complicating Hayward’s future availability are his plans to leave the NBA campus at some point in September for the birth of his fourth child. It’s not clear whether that will happen early or late in the month.

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17 thoughts on “Gordon Hayward Expected To Miss Four Weeks With Ankle Injury

  1. Hope for a speedy recovery, it’s been nice to see him looking like his pre injury self

  2. Curtisrowe

    They don’t lose a whole lot with Smart taking haywards minutes, but they have no one to take Smarts minutes, they only slightly consistent wing they have off the bench is Wanamaker.

    • wagner13

      True. They scored a whopping eight bench points last night. Obviously Kanter and Williams were locked up by Embiid and Horford, but the lack of consistent production beyond the starting rotation doesn’t bode well for the future

    • BishopL

      I agree with what you said my op is they prolly should start grant Williams and keep smart in the role he’s in

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Even with Hayward getting hurt, there’s no reason to think the Sixers will win the series. But it definitely hurts the Celtics chances of going deep in the playoffs. Although the Bucks losing today against the Magic shows that anything is possible in the bubble.

      • wagner13

        It’s hard to tell if Milwaukee’s loss was legitimate or a fluke. The Magic are just so hard to predict. They’re very well coached and seem to rise in the postseason. Remember, they upset the Raptors in their initial matchup last year.

        On the other hand, the Bucks have looked quite indifferent since the restart. Even if they have been resting, it’s difficult to suddenly step on the gas pedal and start playing championship basketball

    • Luke Adams

      He’s dealing with torn wrist ligaments but is technically available (he played a whole 10 seconds on Monday).

    • traderumors

      Yeah this would’ve been a great opp for Langford but he’s seems just as snake bitten.
      Also getting tired of people feeling bad for Hayward and how unlucky he is…the guy is making $35MM a year and hasn’t earned it yet. Plus he was planning on leaving the bubble anyway to be there for the birth of his 4th child so I don’t think the Hayward family will be suffering all that much.

  3. KnickerbockerAl

    Yup no Langford. Makes them thinner. Not good news for deep run. Sixers have a shot. Makes it better series. For sure Hayward opts into contract now. He won’t get another big contract. Injuries just keep happening. At 30 yrs old. This is probably last big pay day. One yr left.

    • Curtisrowe

      He would have opted in anyway. It is anyones guess what salaries are going to be like next year. Anyone with a decent player option is going to use it.

      • traderumors

        Part of me wonders if maybe they extended Stevens early to convince Hayward to opt-in and restructure and extension after the play-offs which I’m still not sure how I feel about.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      I still remember when Hayward left Utah three years ago, but they have done just fine without him. Of course he opts in for $34M.

  4. Ialreadyhadsteveijustupdatedmypicbeenheresince08gimmemynameback

    If they weren’t so thin it’d be a certain addition by subtraction same as Irving before him. May still be, they’ve looked very good the last two games. Haywards redundancy and injury issues mitigate his gains on offense not a fan of his defense on the wing or inside either.

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