By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
It sure sounds like Gordon Hayward has turned a projected six-week recovery into a four-week comeback, as the Boston Celtics expect to see No. 20 back in action for Monday night’s head-to-head with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Returning to the practice floor on Sunday and declaring himself a possibility for Monday’s game, the 29-year-old Hayward went through a workout at the Green’s Monday morning shootaround, with his agent (Mark Bartelstein) confirming that Hayward would be making his return to action.
“[Hayward] has worked unbelievably hard to keep in great shape and do everything humanly possible to get back this early,” Bartelstein told Yahoo Sports’ Ben Rohrbach. “He’s not 100 percent and probably won’t be for a few weeks, but he wants to play in the worst way.”
The good news is that Hayward, who underwent surgery on Nov. 11, cannot hurt the hand any worse.
“I’m going to have to get hit equally as hard, probably more than last time, because I have the metal in my hand now,” Hayward said following Sunday’s practice. “The bone is healed. I can’t hurt it worse.”
And though the C’s managed without Hayward just fine, with wins in nine of 13 Hayward-less contests this season, there’s no doubt that they will happily welcome the veteran wing back to action, as Hayward was averaging 18.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per night to go with a career-best 55.5 field goal percentage through the first eight games of the year.