Much of Gordon Hayward’s tenure with the Celtics has revolved around updates regarding his health.
Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge provided one of those updates Thursday as Hayward recovers from a broken left hand that he suffered on Nov. 9 against the San Antonio Spurs and had surgically repaired shortly thereafter.
“Gordon is progressing on the court. He’ll probably practice with us this weekend, Saturday,” said Ainge on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich morning show. “I don’t want to get ahead of myself and get too excited about it but I think he’s progressing really well.”
Ainge added: “I don’t know what that means exactly. I don’t know which game will be targeted.”
Danny Ainge said on @Toucherandrich that Gordon Hayward will probably practice with the team this weekend: "I don't want to get ahead of myself and get too excited about it, but I think he's progressing really well."— Boston.com Celtics News (@BDCCeltics) December 5, 2019
Hayward has been seen recently shooting during practice and prior to games and according to MassLive’s John Karalis, Hayward participated in hybrid contact drills Tuesday as he went through basketball activities while going up against the Celtics coaches.
Karalis also noted that when Hayward, who was originally targeted to return around Christmas, does come back, his hand won’t necessarily be at 100 percent. Hayward will have to play through any pain that is still there, as he expects the injury to linger.
“I’m going to have to continue to get treatment, continue to ice it and kind of manage some of the symptoms,” Hayward said. “I don’t want it to get hit again, but I’m sure it will get hit again, and when that happens it’ll be sore. So I’ll manage that. But it’ll be something I deal with for the rest of the year.”
But as of now, all signs point to Hayward returning to game action sooner than anticipated. The Celtics play three times next week: Monday versus the Cavaliers and then a back-to-back at Indiana and a Thursday home contest against the Philadelphia 76ers. Boston then nearly has a week off before its next game.