BOSTON (CBS) — In the midst of their seventh straight victory, the Boston Celtics were dealt a gut punch when Gordon Hayward suffered a broken hand during Saturday’s win over the Spurs. With Hayward looking his old self to start this season, it had to have been particularly painful for the Celtics to see him walk off with an injury.
Yet unlike Warriors star Stephen Curry, who will miss at least three months with his broken hand, Hayward appears to have avoided major damage.
Hayward will see a hand specialist on Monday, according to ESPN, where his exact course of recovery will be decided. Surgery may be necessary, but even in a worst-case scenario, Hayward is expected to miss six weeks at most.
One report noted that Hayward suffered a broken left fourth metacarpal. Former C’s big man Aron Baynes suffered that same injury last year, and it kept him out for four weeks.
Hayward broke his finger in 2016 at the start of his final season in Utah. He was expected to miss six weeks for that injury, but returned to the court after just four weeks.
Prior to leaving Saturday’s game early, Hayward was averaging 20.3 points, 7.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game, while shooting 56.4 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from 3-point range. Hayward of course missed all but a few minutes of the 2017-18 season after suffering a fractured ankle in the opening minutes of the season opener. After an up-and-down 2018-19 season, Hayward appeared to have turned a corner to start this season.
The 7-1 Celtics host Dallas on Monday and Washington on Wednesday, before heading out on a Western swing that will have them visiting Golden State, Sacramento, Phoenix, L.A. (Clippers) and Denver. If Hayward is to miss four weeks, he could be available to return somewhere close to the Dec. 9 game against Cleveland or Dec. 11 game at Indiana.
More information should be available after Hayward’s visit to the hand specialist on Monday, but at the current moment it appears as though the news could have been much worse.
“This one doesn’t feel near as bad as it did two years ago,” Brad Stevens said after Saturday’s game. “So, he’ll be back. Be off for a few weeks or a month or whatever it is.”
UPDATE: Hayward decided to undergo surgery on Monday afternoon. His timetable will be clearer after the procedure has been completed.