The Boston Celtics remain undermanned for tonight’s game at Charlotte. 

But it appears as though the team’s depth will be replenished sooner than expected. 

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said both Aron Baynes (foot) and Gordon Hayward (concussion protocol) have not been ruled out for Sunday’s game against San Antonio. 

Prior to tonight’s game against Charlotte, Stevens said reports he has heard about both players are “really encouraging.”

Baynes was with the team, but flew back to Boston to meet with a foot specialist.

“He can play sooner than we thought which is encouraging,” said Stevens who was told Baynes had a Grade-2 sprain which typically takes close to a month to heal. 

Baynes suffered a left ankle sprain in the first half of Boston’s 118-115 loss at Philadelphia earlier this week. 

The 6-foot-10 big man has missed a total of 29 games this season with Boston posting a 16-13 record in his absence. 

Hayward is in the NBA’s concussion protocol program after taking a hard shoulder from Atlanta’s John Collins on March 16, with tonight’s game against the Hornets being the third straight Hayward will miss. 

As for Hayward’s return, Stevens said, “Gordon is right around the corner.”

Stevens added, “I would not rule either of them out (for Sunday against San Antonio) based on what I’ve heard.”

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