Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward is on schedule to make a full recovery in the expected timeline after undergoing surgery to repair a broken left hand on Nov. 12, according to Celtics head coach Brad Stevens:
Brad Stevens said Gordon Hayward is “on pace” in his recovery process. He’s shooting right now with some tape on his fingers but no brace or anything like that on his hand.
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) November 24, 2019
ESPN NBA writer Tim Bontemps posted video of Hayward shooting without restrictions:
Gordon Hayward is shooting today without anything on his injured hand. Brad Stevens said Hayward is “on pace” in his recovery. pic.twitter.com/tzZGotjuB6
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) November 24, 2019
Of course, it is fortunate that Hayward did not sustain the injury to his shooting hand. But it is discernible in the video that he is still playing it safe, making every catch with the right hand.
Hayward’s injury was one of the more frustrating developments of the NBA season. After missing essentially all of the 2017-18 season and experiencing an up-and-down season last year, Hayward had bust through the gates after having a full summer to hone his game.
The former All-Star looked comfortable and explosive in his first eight games, averaging 18.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists on over 55 percent shooting, including 43 percent from beyond the arc.
Perhaps even more impressively, Hayward was dominating in the midrange and excelling at creating space and beating slower defenders off the bounce. His development as a confident playmaker had been something that the Celtics were missing all of last season, but he was finally thriving.
Despite the frustrations incurred by the injury, the timeline for recovery (post-surgery) is only six weeks, which means Hayward could return at the end of December or beginning of the new year.
The Celtics won their first three without Hayward, but they have since dropped three of their last four (thanks due in part to a tougher schedule). They could use some of his scoring to take the pressure off the likes of Marcus Smart and bench guys like Carsen Edwards.
But for right now, Hayward is on pace to return around that six-week mark.