Blame Robyn Hayward for this one.
The wife of Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward caused a stir Wednesday by posting a seemingly harmless Instagram video that revealed her husband wasn’t wearing his walking boot.
Does that mean Hayward is fully recovered from his gruesome ankle injury?! No, of course not. But Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge gave a positive update on the All-Star forward Thursday morning when asked about that Instagram video.
“He’s progressing along,” Ainge said of Hayward in a radio interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher & Rich.” “He can take the boot off for short periods of time, but yeah, he’s doing really well.
“His therapy is going great. He’s right on schedule. He’s doing sometimes two workouts a day trying to get stronger. And the next phases are just getting out of the boot completely, but I still think that’s a couple weeks away from being permanently out of the boot.”
Getting out of a walking boot would be a big step for Hayward, who’s been confined to shooting from chairs in the Celtics’ practice facility. And while Hayward himself has admitted he likely won’t return this season, Ainge didn’t exactly slam the door on a potential late-season comeback.
“He hasn’t expressed (wanting to return this season), but just knowing professional athletes, I know that down inside he wants to be back faster than anybody has ever been back from this kind of injury,” Ainge said. “He’s got a competitive streak to him and he’s asking lots of questions. … He’s diligent in his rehab.
“I know what’s going on in his mind, but I don’t think he’ll say anything about how fast he wants to get back.”
Judging by those comments, it sounds like Hayward’s rehab is going quite well. But Ainge added the C’s will be “very careful” in not rushing Hayward back before he’s fully healed.
“(NBA) athletes (are) competitive and they think they’re invincible in some scenarios,” Ainge said. “So, we really have to pay close attention.”
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images