Celtics head coach Brad Stevens and general manager Danny Ainge continue to insist they don’t expect Gordon Hayward to return this season. But a new video of Hayward doing shooting drills probably won’t quell the lingering speculation.
The Players’ Tribune tweeted a nearly 30-second video Friday of Hayward working out in the gym, complete with jump shots and crossovers. Suffice to say, Hayward looks a lot more mobile than the last time he was filmed on the court. In late January, the NBA’s official Twitter account shared a video of Hayward doing some spot shooting.
The road back with @GordonHayward.
Coming soon. pic.twitter.com/Rp4GT8zDkB
— The Players’ Tribune (@PlayersTribune) March 2, 2018
It appears as if Hayward, who was back in uniform this week for the team photo, has made significant strides in his recovery over the last couple of weeks. Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Mannix reported recently Hayward’s ankle was still “purpelish” and swollen at the All-Star Break.
Hayward, 27, has traveled sporadically with the team since shattering his ankle on Opening Night. Given that Hayward is signed to a four-year deal, it’s in the Celtics’ best interest to protect him for the long-term. The potential reward of a rusty Hayward playing limited minutes off the bench in the playoffs isn’t worth further jeopardizing his health.
While that logic is easy to follow, the shots of Hayward playing basketball make it difficult to entirely write him off. The Players’ Tribune tweet implies his recovery will be continue to be chronicled this spring. This story isn’t over yet.
Update (4:10 p.m.): Gordon Hayward has also released a video on his Twitter account, featuring words of encouragement from one of his trainers.
Patience. One goal.
— Gordon Hayward (@gordonhayward) March 2, 2018
Full article @ Athletic-looking Gordon Hayward practices shooting drills in new video
Source: GreenStreet Blog