Storyline: Gordon Hayward Injury

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Hayward still believes he can lift his game to a new level. He still aims to deliver titles and maximize his individual potential, but when he speaks about what he ultimately wants to accomplish, he lists skills rather than accolades. He wants to sharpen his decision-making in pick-and-rolls and dribble handoffs. He believes he can see the floor better, inflict more punishment on smaller defenders, and take advantage of all the space the Celtics’ style should afford. Hayward wants to avoid focusing on All-Star berths. This season, after all the anguish, and monotonous rehab, Hayward’s priority is to stay on the court. “Get through this year healthy,” he said of his priorities during a phone interview this week.
2 weeks ago via ESPN

Hayward had just started to run full speed and play one-on-one in late May, when doctors concluded it was best to remove the plate and screws. Hayward had been feeling pain around his ankle for months. He agitated for the surgery earlier, fearing an operation in May or June would sabotage his summer. “Hindsight is 20/20,” he says, “but I wish we had knocked this out in March.” Doctors and Celtics officials cautioned that no one should undergo a second operation if they don’t absolutely have to, Hayward recalls. They needed to determine if something other than the plate — some issue that would go away — was causing the irritation. That process took time. “I was miserable,” Hayward says. “To go back into a walking boot after all that progress — back on crutches. That was my lowest moment.”

Gordon Hayward: Physically, from what I am told, the last thing to come is that explosion off my left foot. Being able to push off that left when I’m going right, when I’m going to the rim off of one foot, being able to just confidently jump off of it and finish at the rim, whether that’s a dunk, or a layup, or whatever—that is the last piece. I feel like I can do that off my right, but not necessarily off my left yet. That will come with time and repetition, just like everything else.

Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving and small forward Gordon Hayward “look impressive” in the pickup games they have played at the practice facility in advance of training camp, a league source told Amico Hoops on Friday. Irving underwent season-ending knee surgery in April, while Hayward suffered a fractured left ankle in the Celtics’ season-opening loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Oct. 17, 2017. Both players have been taking part in full speed training for almost a month. Hayward is expected to be cleared for five-on-five play next week, sources said.
2 months ago via ESPN

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge told ESPN on Monday that both Irving (knee) and Hayward (ankle) appear at full health and are ready for the new season. “I don’t want to hype it up too much, but I’m saying that, if our training camp were starting today, that they would be here today going full speed,” Ainge said. “It’s not like they need an extra month. I think that they know they have an extra month so they are sort of pacing themselves. They’re playing as if to build up to that opening day of training camp [on Sept. 26].”

You’re helping Gordon Hayward as he comes back from that devastating injury that he sustained in the first game of last season. How is Gordon looking and what’s the latest on his recovery? Drew Hanlen: He’s doing really well. He’s up to full-speed workouts now, so he’s able to cut and play and do everything; there are no limitations in his workouts. Then, in the next week or two, he’s going to be able to start competing again, which is awesome because then we can begin to make adjustments and do stuff as he starts playing live – that’s super important so we can make sure everything we’re working on translates into games.

Celtics forward Gordon Hayward today underwent successful surgery to remove the plate and screws that were implanted following the broken fibula he suffered on October 17. Hayward’s ankle and fibula are both structurally sound, and the removal of the plate and screws was necessary as they were causing irritation to his peroneal tendons. He is scheduled to return to basketball activities in six to eight weeks, and is expected to be at full strength for the start of training camp.

Gordon Hayward: I know everybody is curious about where things stand with my rehab. It’s all been going really well. I’m happy to report I’m feeling like an athlete again. I’ve been in Indianapolis for the last couple weeks making some really good progress. I leave the hotel every morning at about 9:30 am and don’t get back til about 6 pm. We do a lot of running mechanics, physical therapy, a lift of some sort, and then court work for another few hours. It’s a full day, every day. I’m definitely moving along as planned, and progressing really well.

Gordon Hayward: Unfortunately, the training room has become a lot more crowded over the last few weeks. It seems like one thing after another with injuries these days. Even in the same game, you have Marcus Smart tear a tendon in his thumb and had to get surgery, and that same night, Daniel Theis hurts his knee and he is done for the year. That was unreal. Then you have Jaylen take that scary fall that cost him a couple weeks with the concussion, and now Kyrie needs surgery to clean out his knee.

When asked by Celtics Wire if he’s kept in touch with Hayward, George explained how he tried to help set him up for success and watched him take off. “Yeah, I’ve been in touch with him. I’ve been in touch with him, texting and kind of been watching him from afar, how he’s been progressing. Early on, I was around him more so, sending him messages and talking to him. At this point, it looked like he’s doing really well, just watching him on the court.

George explained how he went through the exact same thing and how he helped Hayward prepare for the massive mental hurdles that are tossed in his way. “That’s one of the biggest things I told him, cause I knew it was going to be frustrating,” George said. “Where you feel like you’re getting better, you’re about to turn that corner and then you’re going to have some setbacks. That’s part of doing so well, putting so much stress on it, that sometimes it’s going to get sore, sometimes it’s going to feel like you shouldn’t have did something. It’s all part of the process.”

“You know what? Sometimes I talk too much,” said Ainge. “‘Setback’ wasn’t the right word, so let me rephrase that because it’s not exactly true to say it — or say it that way. What happened is he went on the AlterG [anti-gravity treadmill] the first day and he felt some soreness. It was the first day he tried the AlterG, a long time ago. He just wasn’t ready for it at that point. That’s all it was. So I think ‘setback’ is the wrong way to put it. I mis-phrased that.”

“I’m not sure what the right word is, but he wasn’t ready for that. So we waited a couple of weeks before we started that again, and since we started that again it’s been great and he’s progressed along on the AlterG. That’s all. It wasn’t like he had an accident or anything like that. I used the word ‘setback,’ and it became a headline. Like, ‘Oh, setback.’ It got blown out of proportion. It’s my fault. I’m not blaming anybody. ‘Setback’ was probably too strong of a word.”
8 months ago via ESPN

Less than a week after Celtics coach Brad Stevens offered his most emphatic “He’s not playing this year” when asked about Hayward’s recovery, Hayward wouldn’t close the door completely on the possibility. “My thoughts are that I take it day by day. And I said that from the very beginning, that’s what I would do, not putting a timetable on it,” Hayward said Friday while unveiling a new gym for students at the Timilty Middle School in Roxbury. “The recovery is going well. I’m progressing well. I was in the facility this morning, will be in the facility tomorrow. And that’s kinda my goal — just really focusing day by day.”
8 months ago via ESPN

Ramona Shelbourne: I texted some Boston people and everyone who I would be in touch with and ask about it was like, ‘[Gordon Hayward] is not coming back. We wouldn’t do that to him, his career is way too important.’ I know what [Jeff Van Gundy] was saying by calling baloney on all that when he was like, ‘If [Boston] gets to the Finals, [Hayward] is gonna come back and do a Willis Reed.’ All I can tell you is, everyone in Boston that I’ve talked to seems to be saying there’s just no chance they would let him do that or put him in that position.

Gordon Hayward: Every morning is basically the same. Massage work. Balance work. Lift. Low Load circuit. Conditioning. Stuff on the court. Four or five hours go by. It’s pretty monotonous, and it’s not fun. I’m just trying to get through it. The biggest change is that I’ve been out of the brace for a couple weeks now, and everything is feeling pretty good. It definitely feels good to walk around the house without the brace. The act of walking finally feels normal. That’s really nice. Some of the balancing activities that I’m doing now are kind of an upgrade from the balance activities I was doing before. I’m able to do it for longer periods of time. I’m able to do calf raises for more reps and some weight, like wearing a weight vest. And I am slowly progressing with the AlterG.

Gordon Hayward: On a basketball court, I’m still limited to doing things where I’m basically standing still and then taking maybe one step. Everything is flat-footed. So I can do a dribble pull-up, and though I don’t jump in the air, I still do the dribble and the step. On finishes around the rim, I can do a step and finish, but staying on the ground. That’s kind of where I’m at right now. I’m doing all dribbling drills and passing drills, but just stationary, or slowly walking across the court. I can’t really jump or do any big-time movements like that.

Gordon Hayward: It’s been a few weeks since my last blog entry. I’m deep in the rehab process now, just grinding. Every morning is basically the same. Massage work. Balance work. Lift. Low Load circuit. Conditioning. Stuff on the court. Four or five hours go by. It’s pretty monotonous, and it’s not fun. I’m just trying to get through it. The biggest change is that I’ve been out of the brace for a couple weeks now, and everything is feeling pretty good. It definitely feels good to walk around the house without the brace. The act of walking finally feels normal. That’s really nice.

Gordon Hayward: On a basketball court, I’m still limited to doing things where I’m basically standing still and then taking maybe one step. Everything is flat-footed. So I can do a dribble pull-up, and though I don’t jump in the air, I still do the dribble and the step. On finishes around the rim, I can do a step and finish, but staying on the ground. That’s kind of where I’m at right now. I’m doing all dribbling drills and passing drills, but just stationary, or slowly walking across the court. I can’t really jump or do any big-time movements like that.

Russell played on 11 of the Celtics’ 17 NBA championship teams. Brown, on a Celtics squad that overcame the loss of All-Star newcomer Gordon Hayward to own the East’s best record, believes this team has the talent to make a run at accomplishing this year what Russell did 11 times. “I’m not surprised at all. Not one bit,” Brown said of the Celtics play sans Hayward. “I think we have a lot of talent. I don’t know if people see it that way. But we have a very talented group with a lot of young guys that can really play. With a good coaching scheme and a balance, I think that’s why we are doing so well. Everybody stepped up.”
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October 22, 2018 | 8:44 am EDT Update
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