If Danny Ainge is to be taken at his word, it seems as unlikely as ever that Gordon Hayward will return for the Boston Celtics this season.
The C’s president of basketball operations provided a somewhat grim update on Hayward’s recovery during an appearance Thursday on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher & Rich.” In addition to doubling down on his assertion that Hayward won’t play again this season, Ainge revealed the Celtics forward recently suffered a setback in his recovery.
Here’s what Ainge had to say, per WBZ NewsRadio’s Adam Kaufman:
Well, that’s not good.
Now, Ainge’s comments — at least in tone — seem to differ from ones recently made by Hayward, who said “the hope is still there” for a return to game action either before or during the NBA playoffs. Still, perhaps it’s time we start believing Ainge and Celtics head coach Brad Stevens when they say Hayward is done for the season.
With just 14 games remaining in the regular season, as well as a rash of injuries that have thrown their NBA Finals hopes further in doubt, the Celtics might want to play things extra safe with Hayward.