STOP THE PRESSES! Injured Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward is jogging up and down the court with a smile on his face.
On Monday morning the Players’ Tribune shared a video of Hayward running on the court and it’s got “Green Teamers” everywhere are freaking out.
Sure it’s great to see that Hayward is transitioning from the AlterG [anti-gravity treadmill] to the hardwood, but don’t get your hopes up for a return in the 2018 NBA Playoffs.
It’s been a slow and tedious rehab process for the sharp-shooting forward, but all things are at least pointing to a 2018-2019 return.
Out of all the videos he’s shared so far, this one has to be the most impressive.
This dude makes it look way too easy.
Okay so Hayward can knock down a three from well beyond the arc, while laying down, and not to knock Aron Baynes or anything, but it takes him 76 games and 12 attempts before he knocks down his first three-pointer of the year? Oh come on!
But in all seriousness, Hayward is looking good and who couldn’t be happy for him?
At this point there’s no reason to rush him back. Sure it would be great to have him for a deep playoff run, but at what cost?
Is it worth pushing Hayward to return sooner than later and increase his odds of re-injuring himself before he’s fully healthy just to have him come back to play limited minutes off the bench?
Nope. Nah. No. Never. Ain’t happening.
Don’t get it twisted though. Yes, of course Hayward could provide a nice spark off the bench, but it’s definitely not worth the risk. Especially with the C’s laundry list of injuries.
The right move is to let Hayward get to where he needs to be at 100 percent before adding him to the lineup. And if that means he returns next season, then so be it.
According to the Celtics’ front office, that sounds like that’s the plan moving forward with Hayward.
Back in mid-March President of Basketball Operations, Danny Ainge, reiterated to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, that “it just doesn’t seem likely [a return this season], so I don’t want to put any pressure on him. Gordon can say whatever he wants, but we are not planning on him playing this year. I don’t see that happening; that’s why I keep saying that.”
Hayward will able to travel with the team once “he has reached the point where he could do workouts away from the alter-G anti-gravity treadmill that he’s been forced to use while waiting for clearance to run at full body weight on the injured ankle,” according to Chris Forsberg of ESPN.
Following Hayward’s video this morning, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens had this say:
Brad Stevens says every new accomplishment that Gordon Hayward reaches is “a big step.” Hayward can now jog but without lateral movement.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 2, 2018
Hayward suffered a fractured tibia and dislocated ankle in his left leg just five minutes into the Celtics’ season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers back in October.
The Celtics have now matched their win total (53) from last season, following their, 110-99, win over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night, while locking down the No.2 spot in the East in the process. The C’s will now look to make a push up for the top spot over their final six games of the season, which includes three games against playoff contenders.
UP NEXT: The Celtics (53-23) head to the Badger State on Tuesday night to take on Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks (41-35) in the first of back-to-back road games. Catch the call of the game with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell, live on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Pre-game coverage begins at 7:30 p.m., with tip-off set for 8:00 p.m.
— By John ‘The Dude’ Hardiman, 985TheSportsHub.com
John Hardiman is a Digital Producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for John? Hit him up on Twitter @HardiDude or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.