INDIANAPOLIS -- The good news is the blow Gordon Hayward took to the face in the third quarter did not produce a broken nose as initially feared when replays showed the impact of Doug McDermott’s palm crashing into Hayward’s nose.
But Hayward isn't totally in the clear, either.
Hayward said he felt pretty dizzy shortly after the shot to the face, which, in part, is why he did not return to the floor in the Celtics 122-117 loss to the Pacers on Wednesday night.
Gordon Hayward just left the game after taking this hit to the face pic.twitter.com/lSiXDQ82Mh— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) December 12, 2019
“Because of that, I came back here and went through a concussion thing to make sure everything is OK,” said Hayward who had nine points on 4-for-8 shooting in 25 minutes.
While Hayward is not in the NBA's concussion protocol, he said he will have additional testing when the Celtics return to Boston, which creates a level of uncertainty about his status for the game Thursday night against Philadelphia.
“I still have a pretty good headache now, but hopefully by tomorrow I should be good,” Hayward said.
"I did not break my nose, which is good."— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) December 12, 2019
Gordon Hayward talked to media after the game to explain what happen to him in the game and how he's feeling pic.twitter.com/EvFek72Qrk
If Hayward is put into concussion protocol, it will be yet another setback to his quest to regain his All-Star form prior to arriving in Boston.
The 6-foot-8 Hayward missed 13 games this season after suffering a fourth metacarpal fracture in his left hand, an injury that saw Hayward return to the floor ahead of schedule.
But if he’s in the concussion protocol, there’s no telling how long he will be out.
And he would be the latest Celtic to be out for what appears to be an indefinite period of time.
Marcus Smart (eye infection) missed his second game in a row Wednesday, with no clear sense of when he’ll be back on the floor.
Ditto for Robert Williams III, whose hip injury also kept him out of the lineup for the second game in a row.
Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-76ers, which tips off Thursday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Tommy have the call at 8 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.