Storyline: Gordon Hayward Injury

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Hayward added that he expects to be dealing with effects from the injury throughout the season. “It’s definitely something where, hopefully not the rest of the season, but certainly a lengthy part of the season, 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.”

The initial Celtics timetable had Hayward projected to return six weeks after the surgery just ahead of Christmas and there has been no adjustment to that plan as of now. “It’s still hard to say exactly,” Hayward admitted when asked about a return plan. “But we have some good days here at home where I can practice and really do the things I want to do and kind of feel it out and see how it responds. I did a lot on it today, so I think it’s going to be more sore. It might swell up, so hopefully as soon as I’m done here go ice it and get some of the swelling down and kind of just take it day by day.”

On Tuesday, Hayward practiced with the team — stepping aside for live run to be an official, according to Brad Stevens — but he did something resembling contact drills with Celtics coaches. “I played a little kind of like hybrid contact today with coaches and stuff,” Hayward told reporters. “It’s definitely sore and I think that’s something I’ve got to work through. I’ve got to work through that to make my hand stronger, and hopefully over the next couple of days I can do that and get it kind of more the same strength of my right hand. I think it’s going to be a little while, and plus I was right-hand dominant anyway. So it’s definitely going to probably not be the exact same, but get it more strengthened so the percentage is closer to my right.”

“It’s a drop in a bucket, for sure,” said Hayward, meeting with reporters before Wednesday’s game against the Washington Wizards. “Like I said, happy that it shouldn’t be that long. Obviously frustrated — it sucks watching and not being able to go out there and play, especially with the start that we’ve had. I think this time around, I’ll be able to run around, use my legs still, maintain my conditioning, which I’m very thrilled about and then be around the team, too. And kinda stay involved, which is good.”

Hayward said surgeons inserted both a pin and a plate at the fracture to both stabilize and expedite the recovery process. He will not travel at the start of Boston’s upcoming five-game trip out west and will have a follow-up with the hand surgeon in New York while waiting for clearance to travel. Hayward appeared in good spirits despite the injury. His splint is already covered in drawings from his two oldest daughters, Charlotte and Bernadette. Despite his advice on color choices, he maintained a “Daddy’s Always Happy” face when detailing what his daughters sketched.

Hayward has in fact been playing for the Celtics all season. But there’s a difference between being back and being back. And that difference, more than anything else, explains why the Celtics enter Saturday’s game mired in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, having so far failed to live up to their lofty preseason expectations. “I think with each month I feel more comfortable,” Hayward told ESPN last week. “Sometimes, I need to remind myself it’s good to even be out there, and to try to find the joy in just playing, [and] not get frustrated if things aren’t going exactly how I want them to.”

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.
1 year 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.
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Robinson’s path to this point falls somewhere between unlikely and unfathomable, as he ultimately progressed from Division III Williams College to receiving advice from Dwyane Wade about adjusting to the NBA. “I mean, you never want to limit yourself or what you’re capable of,” Robinson said. “I certainly didn’t expect or anticipate it necessarily, but I just try to put in the work every single day.”
When he was called up, he soaked up guidance from veterans like Wade, Udonis Haslem and Kelly Olynyk. And last April, Robinson signed a two-year, $3.1 million deal with the Heat. “The situation can be everything, and I feel really good about this organization,” Robinson said. “They’ve been great with me, the support they’ve given me. Front office, coaching staff, it’s special. I felt like I was capable at this level. I’ve always believed that. But sometimes it just takes more of an extended opportunity.”