BOSTON (CBS) — Though nearly everyone else appears to be closing the door on a potential Gordon Hayward return this season, the Celtics forward isn’t giving up hope.

At a community event to unveil a newly renovated gym at the Timilty Middle School in Roxbury, Hayward said he isn’t ruling out a return to the floor for Boston this year.

“The hope is still there,” Hayward told reporters on Friday. “I’m really, honestly, not even thinking about it. It’s something I’m still working for, but if it doesn’t happen it doesn’t happen.”

Hayward has been sidelined since suffering a gruesome ankle injury just five minutes into the season. His rehab has been well documented throughout the process, with a recent video of the forward shooting jumpers rekindling the hope that he may be back at some point during the postseason.

But while he’s holding out hope, Hayward admitted that he isn’t able to do much — at least not yet. He said his progression is going well but he still isn’t running or jumping, aside from what he called “baby jumps.”

Hayward said the mental part of the recovery is the biggest hurdle, but he’s been receiving loads of support from his family, the Celtics and Boston fans.

And maybe sometime soon, people will stop asking Hayward about his return.

“[I’ve been asked] thousands and thousands of times,” he said with a smile. “Every time I go out people ask how my ankle is and if I’m coming back. So I get it all the time.”




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