Here’s the official update from the team on Gordon Hayward (and Al Horford):
#NEBHInjuryReport for tomorrow vs Philadelphia:— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 19, 2019
Gordon Hayward (NBA Concussion Protocol) - OUT
Al Horford (left knee soreness) - PROBABLE
Hayward ran into a blind screen from the Hawk’s John Collins in Saturday’s matinee at the Garden and missed yesterday’s loss to the Nuggets:
Hayward is OUT for the rest of the game vs the Hawks (strained neck) due to this play (@AAANe_MAnews) #AAANortheast pic.twitter.com/BbNEXXUjn0— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) March 16, 2019
The NBA’s concussion protocol is a series of steps that a player must clear before returning to the floor:
He is without concussion-related symptoms at rest.
He has been evaluated by a physician.
He has successfully completed the NBA return-to-participation exertion protocol.
A team physician has discussed the return-to-participation process and decision with the Director of the NBA concussion program, Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher.
For a more detailed explanation, click on the link above. It’s unclear where Hayward is in the process. Head injuries vary in range. As a reference point, Al Horford missed six days and two games last season due to a concussion; the year before that, he missed nine games over a three week span.
After last night’s loss to the Nuggets, President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge said, “[Monday] night we just needed to make some shots in some key moments. Like, there’s two or three stretches where Denver made a couple of outside shots and we missed a couple of lay-ins. I don’t think it’s anything disastrous; I just think we need to keep working to get consistent. And we could have used Gordon [Hayward] out there, because there were some open shots to be made.”
Before his injury, Hayward had been enjoying his most productive month of his recovery. In March, he was shooting a blistering 57.9% from the field and 37.5% from behind the arc, averaging 10 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists over an eight game stretch.
After tomorrow night’s tilt against the Sixers, Boston has two days off before a back-to-back over the weekend in Charlotte and at home against San Antonio. The Celtics have a 3-0 edge over the 76ers this season, including a 112-109 victory in Philadelphia before the All-Star break without Kyrie Irving. Hayward lead the team in scoring with 26 points, including 6-for-7 from 3.