Gordon Hayward could return to the bubble sooner rather than later, but that won’t mean his ankle is completely healed.
The Celtics star exited Game 1 of Boston’s first-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers after spraining his right ankle late in the fourth quarter. He was given a four-to-six-week timetable to return.
So far, head coach Brad Stevens is pleased with the progress Hayward has made, but said Hayward still has some obstacles to overcome.
“Rehab seems to be going okay,” Stevens told reporters Monday during a Zoom conference call, per MassLive’s Tom Westerholm. “He feels a little bit better. I don?t think his gait is perfect yet. Once his gait feels right and becomes perfect, he?s probably on a quicker course to coming back. I think he?ll rejoin us in the bubble at some point soon, but he still will be some time away when he does do that.”
Luckily, the Celtics have been just fine without Hayward on the court. In addition to sweeping the Sixers, Boston owns a 1-0 lead over the Toronto Raptors in their second-round series.
Getting him back before the season’s end, however, would be even better.