The Boston Celtics are on the verge of gaining a huge boost to their championship hopes, with forward Gordon Hayward set to make his return on Monday after missing nearly a month with a broken hand.
Hayward told reporters after Celtics practice on Sunday that he may be able to make his return as early as Monday night, with Boston hosting the Cleveland Cavaliers at TD Garden.
“Tomorrow’s a possibility,” said Hayward, who the Celtics listed as questionable later Sunday, after practice. “See how I feel when I wake up, go through shootaround, see how it goes.”
If he does make his return tomorrow night, it would mark exactly four weeks since the former Utah Jazz star underwent surgery to repair the hand he broke in the second quarter of a game on November 9 against the San Antonio Spurs. At the time the projection was that Hayward could miss up to six weeks, so a potential return after just four would be a huge win for the Celtics.
In Hayward’s 13-game absence the team has gone a respectable 9-4, but they had been 7-1 prior to his injury. In relief of the star forward, coach Brad Stephens has been forced to
use a number of unproven, unreliable substitutes.
Before being sent to the sidelines, Hayward had been averaging 18.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists, shooting 55.5 percent from the field and 43.2 percent from 3-point range.