BOSTON (CBS) — Gordon Hayward has taken a big step forward in his recovery.

The injured Celtics forward walked into his community event at the Boys & Girls Club of Boston on Wednesday without a walking boot. He received the all clear from his doctors to shed the boot, a giant step in his recovery from the dislocated left ankle and fractured left tibia he suffered just five minutes into the season.

Hayward, who will know wear a brace on the ankle, seemed in good spirits after playing some video games with kids at the event. But he said his recovery is a slow process and he may not be out of the boot for good just yet.

“I feel alright, I guess. As well as I could,” Hayward told reporters. “I’m out of the boot now so that’s good. Slowly getting better.

“The process is so fluid. For right now I’m done with the boot, but depending on how things go I could be back in the boot,” he added. “So we’ll see.”

The Celtics have tempered expectations for Hayward’s comeback and do not expect the injured star to return this season. Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said that Hayward losing the boot was a good step, but he still has a long way to go.

“It’s another box to check,” Stevens told reporters ahead of Boston’s 124-118 win over the Nuggets. “There’s a big difference between getting out of the boot and playing in an NBA game, though. So he’s got a long way to go. But it’s good that he has these things as goals, and he keeps checking them off. And he’s working really diligently at it. And he feels good about that. So that’s a good thing.”


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