Celtics star small forward Gordon Hayward suffered a gruesome ankle injury during the first quarter of the season’s first game. Many feared he would miss the entire season, but Hayward has remained optimistic that won’t be the case.
“My mind is open to that,” Hayward said Friday before Boston’s game against the Jazz, via ESPN.com. “I’m trying to get back as fast as I can. It all depends on how I heal. I’m taking it day-by-day, goal-by-goal. We’ll see what happens.”
Hayward, 27, signed a four-year $128 million contract this offseason to reunite with former Butler coach Brad Stevens. But Hayward lasted just five minutes this season before his ankle injury.
Despite losing Hayward, the Celtics have maintained the Eastern Conference lead, helped by a 16-game winning streak early in the season.