Mike Gorman Still Is Adamant Gordon Hayward Will Play For Celtics This Season

Celtics forward Gordon Hayward

Photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

The Gordon Hayward battle lines have been drawn, folks.

On one side is Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, who has explicitly stated on multiple occasions that Hayward won’t return from his ankle injury this season.

On the other is Mike Gorman, NBC Sports Boston’s longtime Celtics play-by-play announcer. Gorman said back in January he thought we would see Hayward in a Celtics uniform this season. On Wednesday morning, he doubled down.

“Everybody tells me (Gordon) is working out eight to nine hours a day, just religiously working out doing everything they ask of him and more,” Gorman said during an appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher & Rich” radio show, via WBZ News Radio’s Adam Kaufman.

“… I truly believe before the playoffs are over we’ll see him in a Celtics uniform. I just believe it.”

Gorman has insisted he doesn’t have any inside information, but he’s extremely well-connected in Celtics circles and would know as much as anyone if Hayward is capable of a comeback …

… Besides Stevens, of course. We’re still obligated to take the Celtics coach at his word, even if he’s trying to protect Hayward by downplaying his recovery process.

Gorman may be right in predicting Hayward will be game-ready by the end of the playoffs, and if Boston reaches the Eastern Conference Finals — or even the NBA Finals — it’d be awfully tempting to bring the All-Star forward into the fold. But inserting a guy who hasn’t played since October into a hotly contested, seven-game series is asking a lot, and who knows if he’d even be effective?

Alas, the C’s still haven’t officially shut Hayward down, so expect the speculation to continue.

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