Stevens on Hayward timetable: ‘We talked about how to approach next five months’

(Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports)

PHILADELPHIA -- With three games in three different cities over four nights to start the regular season, Brad Stevens hasn't had much free time on his hands this week. Still, he was able to spend some meaningful time with Gordon Hayward on Thursday after the All-Star forward underwent successful ankle surgery on Wednesday night.

"I was over (at the hospital) for a while and tried to maintain consistent contact," said Stevens. "He's, obviously, post-surgery having some of the post-surgery challenges of pain and everything else. But the surgery went great. His spirits were pretty positive (on Thursday).

"We talked a little bit about how to approach the next five months with maintaining that positivity. Different ways to stay engaged, different ways to approach this, to attack this, and he was ready to get started on his rehab the minute he got out of surgery."

The reference to five months is something that certainly caught my ear when hearing Stevens' remarks in person and would line up with the analysis of BSJ medical expert Dr. Jessica Flynn on a potential recovery timetable for Hayward of 4-6 months from his injury.

With that said, it's obviously far too early for fans to get excited about the prospect of Hayward returning this season.