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Celtics’ Gordon Hayward ‘not going to play any time soon’ despite coming back to bubble on Sunday

Gordon Hayward, Celtics

There’s good and bad news on the Gordon Hayward front for the Boston Celtics.

The good news is that Hayward will be returning to the Walt Disney bubble on Sunday. However, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens says the small forward is “not going to play any time soon,” per Jared Weiss of The Athletic.

Gordon Hayward suffered an ankle injury during the seeding games and left the bubble to rehab the ailment. The Celtics didn’t need Hayward’s services in the first round against the Philadelphia 76ers, as Boston easily swept the Sixers.

However, to win the Eastern Conference and ultimately the NBA title, the Celtics will require Hayward’s scoring skills. He averaged 17.5 points per game during the 2019-20 regular season and shot 50.0 percent from the field, 38.3 percent from beyond the arc and 85.5 percent from the free throw line.

Since signing with the Celtics during the summer of 2017, Hayward has been prone to injuries. However, fans in Boston are just relieved the former All-Star didn’t have to go under the knife again.

As of this writing, the Celtics are up 2-1 on the Toronto Raptors in the second round of the postseason. Boston was 0.4 seconds away from taking a commanding 3-0 lead before Raptors wing OG Anunoby hit a game-winning buzzer-beater over Jaylen Brown in Game 3.