BOSTON (CBS) – Gordon Hayward is back in Boston for the Eastern Conference Finals. Just not in the same way that Celtics fans would like him to be.

The Celtics forward, who suffered a gruesome ankle injury in the first game of the season, has been continuing his rehab in Indiana while his teammates sealed a spot against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Head coach Brad Stevens said Hayward flew back to Boston so he can attend Sunday’s Game 1 at TD Garden – as a spectator. The prized free agent acquisition was even able to go through part of Saturday’s walk through in Waltham with his teammates.

Earlier this week, Hayward posted a blog update on the progress he’s made.

“It’s all been going really well. I’m happy to report I’m feeling like an athlete again,” Hayward wrote on his website. “I’ve been in Indianapolis for the last couple weeks making some really good progress. I leave the hotel every morning at about 9:30 am and don’t get back til about 6 pm. We do a lot of running mechanics, physical therapy, a lift of some sort, and then court work for another few hours. It’s a full day, every day. I’m definitely moving along as planned, and progressing really well.”

Before you get your hopes up, everyone in the Celtics organization has been clear that Hayward won’t return to the court this year, no matter how many rounds the team advances.

Still, it’s an encouraging sign that Hayward continues to progress following his early season injury.


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