BOSTON (CBS) — Just as Gordon Hayward comes back from one injury, the Celtics forward suffers another. His bad luck continued on Wednesday night, as Hayward had to leave the team’s loss to the Indiana Pacers in the fourth quarter after getting hit in the face.
Hayward was hit across the face by Doug McDermott as he drove to the basket with 6:28 remaining in the game. He was immediately taken to the Boston locker room where the Pacers medical staff ran several tests on him. They determined Hayward did not suffer a broken nose or a concussion, but concussion concerns remain, so he will undergo further testing back in Boston on Thursday morning.
He did not return in Indiana, but Hayward hopes to play Thursday night when the Celtics host the Philadelphia 76ers.
“I just got hit in the nose and immediately couldn’t really see much and felt pretty dizzy,” Hayward told reporters following the 122-117 Boston loss. “I think because of that, I had to come back here and go through the concussion [testing] and make sure that everything was OK.
“I still have a pretty good headache right now, but hopefully by tomorrow it should be good,” Hayward added. “So, we’ll see tomorrow morning.”
Losing Hayward was a big blow to the Celtics, who were up by four points when the injury occurred. Losing Hayward forced head coach Brad Stevens to go back to Jaylen Brown, who was on the bench with five fouls. Brown later fouled out, leaving the Celtics extremely thin for the final minutes of the game.
It’s a tough blow for the player, considering he just returned Monday night after missing a month with a broken bone in his left hand. Hayward had nine points, three assists and one rebound in his 25 minutes of action on Wednesday night, and is averaging 17.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and four assists per game for the season.