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Celtics star Gordon Hayward started shooting again, Brad Stevens optimistic

Gordon Hayward, Brad Stevens, Celtics

Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens is optimistic about veteran forward Gordon Hayward returning from a left hand fracture soon, as the All-Star wing started shooting recently.

Per Tom Westerholm of Masslive.com:

“He’s shooting the ball, I don’t know how much else,” Stevens said. “He is able to run up and down the court and do conditioning and do the bike and everything else. I don’t think he’s going to lose a lot on that end. That’s sometimes the issue with the injuries is that — especially leg injuries — it takes you a while to get up to speed conditioning wise. But I don’t think that’ll be the case. I think he’ll be able to maintain that pretty well, which is good.

“I don’t know if (he’s shooting) one-handed, normal, I don’t know what it is,” Stevens said. “All I know is I got an email from the guys that are back there that said he shot.”

Hayward, 29, signed a four-year, $120 million contract with the Celtics prior to the 2017-18 NBA season, during which he immediately fractured his leg in the team’s first game of the year.

After taking last year mostly recovering from his gruesome injury, which required rough patches, Hayward looked back on track in 2019-20 before an untimely hand injury sidelined him for a four-to-six week diagnosis.

Hayward broke his hand in a freaky incident in a game against the San Antonio Spurs nearly two weeks ago. Despite the former Utah Jazz swingman’s absence, the Celtics have been on a tear recently — winning four of six games since Hayward went down.