Just the other day, Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder called wing Gordon Hayward and “iron man” because he was the one key member of the Utah rotation who had not missed time due to injury.
Apparently Snyder jinxed him — Hayward will be out Monday when the Jazz take on the Cavaliers, the team announced. It’s the injury type that is more concerning.
Officially, Hayward is day-to-day.
Plantar fasciitis is a painful swelling of the band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. It makes it painful to run or jump, which in turn makes playing basketball challenging.
It’s also something that only rest truly cures. There are different orthotics, he can spend time in a walking boot, and other treatments are out there but at the end of the day, this is a condition that can linger and requires time off one’s feet. We don’t know the severity of his case, but this is something players can miss weeks or more for.
The Jazz cannot afford to have Hayward rest much right now. Hayward leads the Jazz in scoring (20.1 points per game), assists (3.7), and minutes (36.2 per game) while pitching in 4.9 rebounds a night.
Utah is two games behind Dallas for the final playoff spot in the West, but most prediction models have the Jazz passing Dallas for that final playoff spot because Dallas has a brutal schedule the rest of the season (particularly the next two weeks). However, Utah’s run of upcoming games are not easy — they include Chicago, Milwaukee, Houston — and the Jazz are going to need wins to get past Dallas.
No Hayward, the best shot creator on the team, hurts that cause. And Utah’s playoff dreams if he misses much time.