Boston Celtics fans might have to give up on their hopes of seeing Gordon Hayward play this season.

Hayward sustained a gruesome ankle injury in the Celtics’ regular-season opener Oct. 17. While the injury appeared to be season-ending from the moment it occurred, Hayward slowly changed the narrative with positive signs of recovery, including getting shots up and removing his walking boot.

Although the Celtics haven’t officially ruled Hayward out for the remainder of the campaign, head coach Brad Stevens has stressed that the star forward returning before the 2018-19 season is highly unlikely. Speaking before the Celtics’ win over the New York Knicks on Saturday, Stevens didn’t waiver from the notion he’s maintained all along. In fact, his latest response to the idea of Hayward returning this season arguably is his bluntest yet.

Welp, that settles that.

Boston, on paper, would benefit from adding Hayward for its postseason run, but it’s tough to imagine he would be up to game speed, let alone ready for the high intensity of the playoffs. Rushing Hayward back doesn’t really make any sense, as the Celtics’ future in the years coming is incredibly bright.