Gordon Hayward is itching to return to the Boston Celtics.
The star suffered a gruesome ankle, lower-leg injury just five minutes into the Celtics’ regular-season opener on Oct. 17. While the injury was expected to sideline Hayward for the duration of the 2017-18 campaign, he hasn’t officially ruled out the possibility of returning this season.
Hayward has shown promising signs in his rehab thus far, from getting shots up from a chair and ditching his walking boot. The 27-year-old by no means is going to rush back into game action, but as he explained during a recent appearance on The Dan Patrick Show, Hayward’s fierce competitiveness has him eyeing a speedy recovery.
“It’s something that I work at every day to try to increase my range of motion and increase my strength in my legs so that I can be back as fast as I can,” Hayward said, as transcribed by UPROXX. “Whether that’s this year. Whether that’s this summer. Whether that’s next year, I kinda will just let that happen. But for sure, as a competitor, I’m trying to come back faster than anyone else has done it. It’s just one of those things where you don’t want to push it and hurt something else because you’ve been out so long. They keep me sticking to a pretty strict protocol, so that’s what I do.”
The Celtics have been the Eastern Conference’s top seed for the bulk of the season, so one can only imagine the heights Boston will reach upon Hayward’s return.