6:40pm: Hayward is available for tonight’s game and will come off the bench, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.
2:40pm: Down 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Celtics may get an important part of their rotation back for tonight’s Game 3, writes Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Wojnarowski cites “significiant optimism” that Gordon Hayward will return to the lineup, as long as he doesn’t suffer a setback to his sprained right ankle during pregame warm-ups.
Hayward has been sidelined for about a month with the injury, which was diagnosed as a Grade III sprain, but has made progress in the past few days, according to Woj. The Celtics officially updated his status to questionable on Friday’s injury report.
The 30-year-old forward was injured in the opening game of Boston’s first-round series against the Sixers. He briefly left the Disney World campus following the injury, but returned two weeks ago.
Hayward appeared fully healthy this season for the first time since he signed with the Celtics in 2017. He became a full-time starter again and averaged 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 52 games.