NBA Rumor: Gordon Hayward Injury

480 rumors in this storyline

Gordon Hayward out at least four weeks

Charlotte Hornets forward Gordon Hayward will be lost for at least four weeks with a right foot sprain, the team announced Saturday. Hayward injured his foot on a drive to the rim in the first half of Friday’s road victory over the Indiana Pacers. Based on video replay, he appeared to step on the foot of Pacers center Myles Turner, then slipped to the floor. Hayward, who grew up in Indiana, was having a big game prior to that injury, totaling 13 points, eight rebounds and six assists in 19 minutes.

More Rumors in this Storyline

As it turns out, it wasn’t anything internal that led to Bosh calling it a career. His decision actually came forth after seeing Gordon Hayward’s injured his ankle in the first few minutes of his debut for the Boston Celtics in the opening night of the 2017-18 season: “I really knew I wasn’t gonna come back when Gordon Hayward dislocated his ankle,” Bosh said in a recent interview on SiriusXM NBA Radio. “I told myself that year, I said, ‘Man, let me get back in the ball.’ Because I didn’t watch any basketball the year before. I’m gonna work out harder, I’m gonna get back inspired. Cleveland and Boston was playing. First game. Dwyane and ‘Bron. I watched my old friends at Cleveland. Boston’s got this new team. Within the first five minutes of me watching basketball that year, I see a dislocated ankle. And it pretty much knocked all the wind out of my sail. It was already really hard and getting more disheartening the further we were getting away from me not playing. And I knew that as a player. Whatever want that I had at that time, I was like, ‘Man, c’mon.’”

Gordon Hayward returning for Game 3?

Barring a setback in pregame warmups, there’s significant optimism within the Boston Celtics that forward Gordon Hayward will make a return to the lineup for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat on Saturday night, sources told ESPN. Hayward has missed a month with a right ankle sprain, but has progressed in recent days to the cusp of a return on Saturday with the Celtics trailing the Heat 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.

If Hayward returns, Boston could play its five best players — Walker, Smart, Brown, Hayward, Tatum — in a centerless alignment that might help on the other end too. Alternatively, Robert Williams III, whom Stevens benched in Game 2, could lurk as a lob threat behind the zone. If Miami unleashes three-quarter pressure as a prelude to its zone, Boston can try to spring Walker with picks at half-court — giving him a runway to bust the zone before Miami locks it in. (The Celtics tried this a few times.)


The former All-Star wing was having a resurgent season when a grade III right ankle sprain knocked him out of the playoff opener against Philadelphia. The Celtics gave him a four-week timetable to return to basketball activities, which would be borderline unprecedented for a grade III sprain. The four-week mark comes just ahead of Game 2 of the Conference final, but it doesn’t sound like Hayward is close to hitting that mark. “He did a couple of non-contact, very light drills,” coach Brad Stevens said. “He’s out there doing individual work right now, but none of that stuff with any groups.”

Gordon Hayward returned to the bubble earlier this week after suffering a Grade 3 ankle sprain in round one against the Philadelphia 76ers. The forward cleared quarantine Friday afternoon, which allowed him to get shots up with the Celtics staff prior to the tip-off of Game 7. Stevens was asked about Hayward’s status following the team’s series-clinching win. “I think he’ll be back at some point in that series (vs. Miami),” Stevens said. “But I don’t know when.”

Sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews after the game that Hayward would be getting an MRI on his ankle later Monday to determine the severity of the injury. Hayward, who scored 12 points on 5-for-13 shooting with 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals in 34 minutes, was trying to box out Sixers star Joel Embiid inside with about 3½ minutes to go in the fourth quarter when his right foot got twisted and he went down to the floor in a heap.

For a player who noted soreness in his surgically repaired left ankle at the beginning of the NBA’s return to play program in June, the Celtics will certainly proceed with an abundance of caution. Hayward prefers to play without an ankle brace on, but there is a good chance that is going to change once he eventually makes it back on the floor. But considering he is already planning to depart the bubble to attend the birth of his son at some point in mid-September, the Celtics may have to plan on a playoff run without him.

The four week return would be much earlier than the initial six week prognosis, which is partly because of quick healing, and partly by design. “I think as it’s steadily improving and can do more and more, you start to think coming back a little bit earlier,” Hayward said. “I think you set the timeline a little bit later than what you’re hoping for just so that you guys and everyone else isn’t like, ‘If you’re late like, what’s the deal?’”

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.”
More HoopsHype Rumors
April 15, 2021 | 1:28 pm EDT Update
April 15, 2021 | 1:19 pm EDT Update