No one within the Celtics organization has ever conveyed anything about Gordon Hayward’s return, other than that it won’t happen this season. But what about Hayward himself?
Celtics president of basketball ops Danny Ainge seems to believe that even Hayward isn’t expecting to return until the 2018-19 season. Hayward has been posting a lot of videos of himself during his recovery from a devastating fractured tibia/dislocated ankle suffered five minutes into the Celtics’ first game of the season. But as Ainge explained to 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Thursday, that doesn’t mean he’s going to be able to play actual basketball within the next 2-4 months.
“I don’t believe that Gordon thinks he’s going to play [this season],” Ainge said.
When asked about the recent videos of Hayward shooting and working out, Ainge added: “I think that Gordon just wants to show everyone, when he comes back next year, all the work that he put in to get back to who he was when he got here – an even better player than he was when he got hurt.”
Ainge also said that Hayward isn’t even at the “weight-bearing” portion of his rehab from the injury. And like there always is with an injury as serious as his, there’s a mental component to overcoming the fear of re-injuring himself on a similar play when he comes back.
It sounds like that return will, indeed, not be until next fall.
Listen to the full interview above!