HOUSTON – Brad Stevens and the Celtics have been consistent in talking about Gordon Hayward not coming back this season.
And as one social media post after another pops up, Celtics Nation continues to hold out hope that he can somehow return and play this season.
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Not happening, said coach Brad Stevens.
“He’s not playing this year,” Stevens said (again) to reporters this morning. “I don’t know what else to say.”
Stevens’ response was to a video Hayward released on Friday showing Hayward doing some ball-handling drills but more important, taking shots while leaving the ground.
It may not seem like that big a deal, but it’s a big deal image-wise because it shows Gordon doing exactly what the Celtics are looking for him to do when healthy – make shots.
That’s just part of the process he’s involved with to get back on the court as soon as possible.
Hayward did another workout this morning using the anti-gravity treadmill, one in which he has gradually increased the amount of weight he puts on his feet.
“He’s up to 60 percent of his weight,” Stevens said. “If you’ve ever run in the Ultra-G, it feels like you’re flying without your legs touching the ground.
Stevens added, “the videos are great. They continue to show the progress. Sometimes when you’re in the midst of that long rehab, you don’t feel the progress of the day-to-day. Now, we all might see a video or somebody that hasn’t see him may see a video and say, ‘he really is getting better.’ But he’s super-long way away, from even being in a one-on-one workout where he’s cutting.”
Shortly after suffering a dislocated left ankle injury just five minutes into the season opener at Cleveland, the Celtics made it clear that they did not expect Gordon Hayward to return to action this season.
Since then, Hayward has attacked his rehab with a seemingly renewed focus on doing all he could to get back in time to help the Celtics near the end of the season or in the playoffs.
So...we’ll check back in tomorrow on Hayward?
“Check back tomorrow,” quipped Stevens. “He’ll be doubtful Monday.”
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