Fresh off his best on-court stretch as a member of the Boston Celtics, Gordon Hayward suffered a hand injury during a weekend tilt against the San Antonio Spurs. While it was quickly clear that Hayward’s ailment was a fracture, there wasn’t a firm timetable for his recovery until Monday, when the Celtics announced that he underwent successful surgery to repair a fourth metacarpal fracture.
#NEBHInjuryReport Gordon Hayward underwent successful surgery today to repair a fourth metacarpal fracture in his left hand. The injury occurred during Saturday night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs.⁰
He is expected to return to play in approximately 6 weeks.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) November 12, 2019
The announcement came along with a projected timetable of “approximately six weeks” and that would place a late December target date for Hayward’s return. In fact, the Celtics will be squaring off against the Toronto Raptors on Christmas Day in exactly six weeks after the surgery took place, which could mark an appropriately intriguing time for Hayward to take the floor again.
After appearing in only one game during his first season in Boston, Hayward did play 72 games in 2018-19, though he was notably limited when compared to his pre-injury form. This season, Hayward is averaging 18.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game (with 55/43/84 shooting) and, provided the hand ailment heals in the projected time, the Celtics would have reason to believe that the 29-year-old forward could serve as a key cog in the second half of the campaign.
The Celtics are off to a rousing start with a 7-1 record and, in the Eastern Conference, the margin for error is a bit wider with regard to playoff pursuits. That leaves Boston with more optimism than you may think about this injury but, hopefully, Hayward will be at full strength before the calendar flips to 2020.