Celtics’ Gordon Hayward Talks Possible Return: ‘The Hope Is Still There’

Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens might want to rule out Gordon Hayward for the season, but the Boston Celtics forward apparently isn’t ready to rule himself out.

Hayward’s rehabilitation from the ankle injury he suffered in the Celtics’ season opener has been talked about nearly as much as the team’s shocking success without him. And although Ainge recently said Hayward doesn’t expect to return this season, Hayward himself made comments Friday that, if nothing else, left the door open.

“My thoughts are that I take it day by day,” Hayward said when asked about a possible return by WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche. “And I said that from the very beginning: That’s what I would do, not putting a timetable on it. And the recovery’s going well, and progressing well. Was in the facility this morning, will be in the facility tomorrow, and that’s kind of my goal — so just really focusing day by day.”

When asked by another reporter if he’s hopeful for a comeback, Hayward opened the door a bit wider.

“The hope is still there,” he said. “It’s something I’m still working for. But if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen.”

Listen to Hayward’s comments in the video below from NBC Sports Boston:

That wasn’t confirmation that Hayward will return, but it most certainly wasn’t a denial, either.

At the end of the day, the Celtics understandably will play it safe with the 27-year-old. And even if Hayward eventually is healthy enough for game action, the Celtics will have a difficult decision on their hands.

Why Celtics should bring back Hayward if he’s 100 percent healthy >>

Why Boston should keep Hayward out even if he’s cleared >>

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

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