Mike Gorman is around the Boston Celtics as much as anyone outside the organization. He’s the voice of the C’s and therefore has his finger on the pulse of the team.

So perhaps we should listen when he says he believes Gordon Hayward will play this year, even if he’s simply speculating based on what he’s seen recently from the All-Star forward.

“This is just me talking from hanging around. Nobody’s telling me this, this is just my observation. I think we’re going to see him play before the year is out,” Gorman, the Celtics play-by-play announcer for NBC Sports Boston, said Thursday. “I think it’ll be great if he does because it means he’s recovered fully from his injury. Because you know they’re not going to let him step out on the court if there’s any doubt.

“Every time I see Gordon, things seem to be better than they were the last time we talked. The boot’s gone, he’s moving around, now he’s taking road trips with us. They hope to take him on the road a lot in March. I just think it’s a possibility.

“But again, this is just me talking. I don’t have any inside information. I just think he’s gonna play this year.”

Hayward has been sidelined since suffering a serious leg injury in Boston’s season opener, and there’s still no timetable for his return. The Celtics have been working under the assumption he won’t be available until next season.

But it’s hard to ignore the steady progress Hayward has made. The All-Star forward was spotted taking some shots this week before the Celtics’ game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center, and Boston head coach Brad Stevens even said Hayward could start traveling with the team in early March.

Gorman’s prediction isn’t far-fetched. In fact, it sounds quite reasonable at this point.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images