Celtics’ Brad Stevens gives Gordon Hayward practice update ahead of Eastern Conference Finals
Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward is nearing the four-week timetable the C’s medical staff earlier gave him with regards to his recovery from a grade III ankle sprain. Boston head coach Brad Stevens himself provided an update on Hayward’s status as the Celtics prepare for their matchup with the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Stevens had a rather optimistic update about his star forward, but it is clear that at this point, Hayward is anything but close to a hundred percent.
“He did a couple of non-contact, very light drills,” Stevens said, via Jared Weiss of The Athletic. “He’s out there doing individual work right now, but none of that stuff with any groups.”
Stevens refused to provide a firm target date for Gordon Hayward’s potential return, which usually means that the player is farther away from coming back than earlier assumed.
“Since I’ve seen him last, it’s good progress,” Stevens said. “I know he feels better. He’s worked hard to get to where he is and I think he’ll play at some point in this series. As far as predicting a timeline, I have no idea. But I feel like he’s made good progress and will play eventually.”
The four-week timetable falls in line with Game 2 of the series scheduled for Thursday, but at this point, it seems that Hayward is not going to be ready by then.
The Celtics have been incredible thus far without Hayward, who himself has yet to play in a single playoff game for Boston this term. Then again, they could use all the help they can get, with the Heat posing as the biggest threat they’ve ever faced this season.