The Celtics won’t have to make do without Gordon Hayward for terribly long.
Hayward fractured his left hand Saturday night during Boston’s win over the San Antonio Spurs. There’s obviously never a good time for injuries, but Hayward’s occurred at a particularly tough point. The veteran forward jumped out to a hot start to the season — averaging 18.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game over eight contests — and the effects of his gruesome lower-leg injury from two years ago appeared finally to be going in the rearview mirror.
The 29-year-old on Monday underwent surgery to repair his hand, and if he stays on track of his current timetable, the Celtics should be able to welcome him back before Christmas.
“Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward underwent successful surgery today to repair a fourth metacarpal fracture in his left hand,” the team said Monday via a press release. “The injury occurred during Saturday night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs. He is expected to return to play in approximately six weeks.”
The Celtics, who already featured mediocre depth to begin with, will be challenged over this next month-plus without Hayward. Monday inspired optimism, however, as Boston gutted out a 116-106 win over the Dallas Mavericks, who previously had been undefeated on the road this season.
If there’s a silver lining to Hayward’s absence, role players like Grant Williams and Javonte Green likely will see extended minutes over the next six weeks and have an opportunity to grow their confidence early in the season. This could bode well for Boston come spring when it will need every player on its roster to bring something to the table.