The Boston Celtics had high expectations entering the 2017-18 NBA season.
That was the case for many different reasons: (1) They had the best record in the East last season. (2) Kyrie Irving was set to join the team. (3) Yet another star in Gordon Hayward was going to put on a Celtics jersey. (4) The Celtics drafted the talented Jayson Tatum with the No. 3 pick in the draft … and let’s just stop there.
To make a long story short, there were plenty of reasons why Boston was set to have a very successful season.
Unfortunately, Hayward went down in the very first game of the season with a brutal injury, and things immediately started to look unclear for Boston.
Fast forward to now and Boston holds the best record in the Eastern Conference standings at 24-6.
Whether the case, let’s focus in on the latest injury update for star Gordon Hayward.
According to ESPN, “Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward shed his walking boot Wednesday, less than two months after his gruesome opening-night injury in Cleveland.”
In the latest step in his recovery from a fractured ankle, Hayward got the OK from his doctors to go boot-free Wednesday. Wearing just a small brace on his left ankle, Hayward was able to walk without an aid at a community event at the Boys & Girls Club of Boston.
“The process is always fluid and can change at any time, but, for me, today was the day where I walk around without the boot at all,” Hayward told ESPN before giving a motivational speech to a group of teens and playing the video game Destiny 2 with them. “And so, I’m going to try to move forward without the boot. Depending on how my foot reacts, how much activity I’m able to do on it without it being sore, I could move back into the boot or I could never look back and never see the boot again.
“I’m just taking it day by day; today has been awesome so far without the boot.”
Look who's out of the boot 👀🙌 pic.twitter.com/3RN5EOOJ0c
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) December 13, 2017
While it remains to be seen if Hayward will actually be able to play again this season or not, it was awesome seeing him shed his walking boot, and Boston fans would likely agree with that one to the max.
Just as a friendly reminder, Hayward has turned into a star in this league. After all, he managed to put up 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game last season.
Just imagine that kind of production on this current Celtics team, a team that has guys like Irving, Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford and so many others. Translation: The Celtics are stacked, and that is especially going to be the case when Hayward returns, whether that be sometime this year or next season.
More from the ESPN article mentioned above:
“I think I’m a goal-oriented type of person. So I set my sights on a [short-term] goal and just focus on that until that goal is completed,” Hayward said. “I have a great group of people around me; the Celtics’ staff has been phenomenal, accommodating to everything that I need. My trainer [Jason Smeathers] is here, my wife [Robyn] at home, everybody is keeping me motivated and making sure that I’m sticking with protocol. It’s definitely like a team thing for me. I have a lot of people that are helping me. That makes it easier.”
Here’s to a speedy and healthy recovery for Hayward, and it’s going to be great to see him back out on the basketball court in the future.