Celtics president Ainge not expecting a Hayward return this season

NBA.com Global on Oct 21, 2017 07:41 AM
Ainge not expecting a Hayward return this season
FILE - In this May 17, 2016, file photo, Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge walks past NBA Championship banners as he prepares to address reporters at the team's training facility in Waltham, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

NBA.com staff report

By all accounts, the surgery to repair Gordon Hayward's dislocated left ankle went well and the Boston Celtics' forward is beginning his long journey on the comeback trail. The thinking from Hayward's agent, Mark Bartelstein, is that Hayward is unlikely to suit up again this season for Boston. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, who signed Hayward in the summer, knows that better than most.

In an interview with Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald, Ainge says he knows everyone heals differently and is hoping for the best for Hayward:

“I’m not a doctor, and I wasn’t in the surgery, so I don’t really know,” Danny Ainge told the Herald when asked if he was leaving the door open. “And it’s still too early to tell. I mean, he just got out of surgery at midnight (Wednesday) night, and he was resting all day (yesterday) since he got no sleep (Wednesday). I honestly don’t know if anybody knows that.

“But I think it’s just safe to say that we’re not counting on him this year and go from there. Just take the pressure off him and let him heal correctly is the most important thing and not even really talk about when he should return to play. That’ll work itself out over time. Everybody heals differently.”

The Celtics already had an available roster spot, and they could apply to the league for a disabled player exception that would create a slot of more than $8 million to add another player. But it’s likely the club will let this play out a bit before deciding on a course of action.

“We’re looking,” said Ainge. “We’re looking for ways to improve our team, but we’re not in a major rush to do that.”

The Celtics are currently playing host to the Philadelphia 76ers.

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