Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward has been up and walking around, even shooting according to recent reports. But there’s still some significant hesitancy when it comes to Hayward seeing an NBA floor this season, despite the fact that Hayward has said he wants to return this year.
The original prognosis for Boston’s big free agent signing — a missed season — seems more likely at this point, especially after the latest report from Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Mannix.
According to Mannix, who say Hayward walking around during the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend, the Celtics star’s ankle is still “purpleish”.
Via Yahoo! Sports:
Also: Don’t count on Gordon Hayward coming back this season, either. Stevens has been unequivocal when asked about Hayward (“I’ve said all year, not coming back,” Stevens said) and now the calendar is working against him. I saw Hayward before the All-Star break. He’s walking fine, but his ankle was still swollen and still purpleish, which makes it impossible to believe he will be ready to play before mid-April.
Obviously we have to wait until there’s some kind of update on Hayward’s timeline, although at this point with the Celtics just half a game behind the Toronto Raptors for first place in the Eastern Conference it’s unlikely Brad Stevens & Co. give away any information that could help playoff opponents prepare for them.
It was one of the most awful ways to start an NBA season in recent memory, and the injuries have kept piling up for major stars. There will be quite a few Celtics fans debating whether Hayward should return to bolster their playoff run or rest as a means to guard against unfamiliarity and re-injury. It will be difficult for Boston to make that decision if the time comes this spring.