Gordon Hayward‘s season seems like it should be over. Hayward’s Boston Celtics debut barely got off the ground before he suffered a horrifying ankle injury during the team’s season opener, and after undergoing surgery, it was widely assumed that the All-Star forward would not be able to return to the team this season.
Despite this, Hayward is trying to stay optimistic. He is working to make his way back to the floor eventually, with the latest update being that he is getting close to having the waking boot he’s worn on his foot removed.
Hayward isn’t ruling out returning this season, though, even if he admits that would be really difficult. Hayward sat down with Adam Himmeslbach of the Boston Globe and said that he sometimes thinks about what it would take to return before the season ends.
“It’s definitely in the back of my mind,” Hayward said. “I’m definitely pushing to get back as fast as I can, while making sure that I still have a lot of good years of basketball in me. And coming back early and hurting something else is not part of that plan. So I’m making sure that if I come back, I’m one-thousand percent confident in myself and my leg. I hope more than anything I can play this season. That would be awesome. But that’s not something I’m stressing about. I’m stressing about what I can do today to help myself get better.”
The Celtics have the best record in the NBA, and while getting a player like Hayward back as soon as possible would help any team, it’s not like they need him to suit up because they’re fighting tooth and nail for a playoff berth. He can take his time and is afforded the luxury of waiting until he’s physically ready to play on a nightly basis, and if that’s next year, that’s totally fine.
But still, it sure would be nice to see Hayward make it back this season if he’s able to get completely healthy.