NBA News: Gordon Hayward could return from injury sooner than expected
What's the rumor?
After making an excellent start to the season, Gordon Hayward fractured his left hand against the San Antonio Spurs on Nov. 9. Hayward subsequently underwent surgery and was ruled for 6-8 weeks, although the 29-year-old believes he is well ahead of schedule as he attempts to return to the court:
It’s kind of hard to put an exact timetable on some of these things, because some of it is, once the bone has healed, how much pain can you handle and how does your hand respond to workouts or getting hit a little bit, different things like that. So I think I’m doing really well so far, and hopefully that can continue.
In case you didn't know...
After establishing himself as an All-Star during his time with the Utah Jazz, Hayward joined the Celtics as a free agent back in the 2017 offseason. However, he suffered a season-ending injury just minutes into his debut - and after returning to fitness for the 2018-19 season, Hayward dropped out of Brad Stevens' starting lineup after a series of underwhelming performances.
Nevertheless, Hayward worked hard over the summer - and was excellent during the opening weeks of the season. In 8 appearances, he averaged 18.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 4.1 assists - while shooting a career-high 55% from the field.
The heart of the matter
The Celtics' form has dipped during Hayward's absence and Stevens will be eager to get the veteran back as soon as possible. While he could still suffer a setback, Hayward is currently on track to return next month, and the Celtics will be hopeful of getting him back for their Christmas Day game against the Toronto Raptors.
Following their defeat to the Brooklyn Nets, the Celtics will be looking to get to winning ways on Sunday as they face the struggling New York Knicks.