President of basketball operations Danny Ainge announced this morning that Hayward is going to Indianapolis to work with a top specialist in running mechanics. The goal of the visit is to help him improve his form as he continues to recover from a fractured left ankle. The Celtics and Hayward both have prior experience with the specialist.
Ainge added that Hayward continues to make encouraging progress from the brutal opening-night injury that wiped out his first season in Boston. Hayward was shown jogging on the court with Celtics trainer Jason Smeathers in a recent video.
There’s more injury-related news to pass along:
- Sixers coach Brett Brown told reporters a “unified effort” is being conducted to determine when Joel Embiid can return to the court, tweets Ian Begley of ESPN. The team, Embiid’s representatives and the doctor who performed his facial surgery are working together to monitor his progress. Begley adds that Embiid, who had the operation March 31, still hasn’t been medically cleared for full contact and doesn’t have a target date to start playing again. Embiid will go through a scripted practice today, his first since suffering a fracture of the orbital bone, relays Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). Embiid wrote on Instagram Monday that he is “sick and tired of being babied” regarding the injury.
- Paul George was held out of contact in today’s practice because of a right hip contusion, according to Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link). George will receive further evaluation after Wednesday’s shootaround.
- Rockets forward Ryan Anderson is on the practice court today for the first time since spraining his ankle, tweets Jerry Zgoda of The Star-Tribune. Anderson, who missed the final four games of the regular season and the playoff opener against the Timberwolves, said the ankle remains swollen and he’ll see how it responds before deciding if he can play tomorrow. “It’s one more shooter that you would have on the floor,” coach Mike D’Antoni said to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle about getting Anderson back. “If a couple guys aren’t going well, we have another guy to go to. It gives us a lot better chance.”
- Raptors guard Fred VanVleet has been downgraded to doubtful for tonight’s game with the Wizards, reports Jared Greenburg of NBA TV (Twitter link). VanVleet has been experiencing soreness in his shoulder since a collision in the team’s final regular season game, but X-rays taken this week were negative.