Boston Celtics

Celtics president of basketball ops Danny Ainge gave perhaps the most definitive update yet on Gordon Hayward when he joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich to kick off hour 4 on Thursday. You can listen to his full interview below (Hayward question begins at 10:18).

“He’s doing great,” Ainge said of Hayward. “He’s had one setback – for a couple of weeks, maybe a month and a half ago. We were progressing a little bit too fast, we thought. But other than that, his work ethic and his determination has been amazing.

“I don’t want to get people’s hopes up. He’s still not back on the basketball court, and we have a month left in the regular season. So he’s got a ways to go, but we’re excited about his progress and his determination.”

The idea of “progressing a little bit too fast” could be interpreted as the Celtics believing at one point in the season that Hayward could return. But a two-week setback could be just enough to keep Hayward off the court for all of 2017-18. Any already-slim hopes that he could make it back during the playoffs are almost totally dashed now.