BOSTON (CBS) — It was a big deal last week when a picture of Gordon Hayward without his walking boot hit the internet.
Hayward was sitting in the picture, so really, a walking boot wasn’t all too necessary. But it still sent Celtics fans into a frenzy about their injured star.
But now there is a reason for some restrained optimism, as head coach Brad Stevens said Hayward could receive the OK to lose his walking boot for good on Wednesday.
“The last I talked to him, which was about 15 minutes ago, he’s going to the doctor (Wednesday) to potentially get out of his walking boot for good — which he’s jacked about,” Stevens said on Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s SiriusXM show on Tuesday (the interview will air on Thursday) — via MassLive.com’s Jay King. “He is wearing an ASO (ankle) brace most of the day now. He is literally in the weight room as we speak. Does all the training table just like our guys. Has his own shooting time. Even when he was in a boot sitting in a chair, he had his own shooting time and had his own lifting time just like all of our players do before practice. So we’ve tried to keep him as engaged as possible.”
In an interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich last week, Celtics president of basketball ops. Danny Ainge said Hayward was a couple of weeks away from getting rid of the walking boot, so it appears he’s a tad bit ahead of schedule on that front. The Celtics have tempered their expectations with Hayward and do not expect him to return this season, but Stevens said Tuesday that Hayward obviously wants to get back as soon as he can.
“His status, the way that we’ve looked at it the whole time is we don’t expect him back this year,” said Stevens. “But he shoots for all of his goals — week-to-week, day-to-day — to try to expedite it as much as he can. Because he obviously wants to be back, like any athlete, as soon as they can.”
Hayward suffered a dislocated left ankle and fractured left tibia on a brutal opening night fall, just five minutes into Boston’s season opener in Cleveland.