Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward spoke with the media for the first time Thursday since suffering his Grade III ankle sprain in Game 1 against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Hayward, as Celtics fans may guess, was extremely disappointed with the injury setback. It will cost him four weeks in the NBA bubble in Orlando.
“It’s definitely gutting. It sucks. There’s nothing else to say about that,” Hayward said, per The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn. “It’s definitely frustrating. It doesn’t feel great at the moment, so just try to get better as soon as I can.”
Hayward has been physically limited in his Celtics tenure due to a plethora of injury issues, but the emotion of it all has been even tougher to rationalize.
“The mental side is the hardest part,” Hayward said, per the team. “I think having good people around you is very key, it’s very important, and I definitely have that.”
Hayward did, however, add his official timeline still was “up in the air,” per Washburn. But when asked if there’s any benefit to being in Orlando rather than Boston for his recovery, he couldn’t think of much of a difference.
An added piece to the puzzle is that Hayward had planned to leave the NBA bubble sometime in September as his wife, Robyn, is pregnant.
The Celtics will take the floor for Game 3 without Hayward on Friday night. They hold a 2-0 series lead over the 76ers.