Gordon Hayward is 'basically at 100 percent' just under a year after suffering a season-ending ankle injury in the Celtics opener. The All-Star forward held court at the Auerbach Center and reflected on his recovery process as well as the season that lies ahead.
"There's certain things that I think are going to take time even if I was 100 percent healthy," Hayward admitted. "I'm not 100 percent as far as basketball-wise, just because I haven't played in a year. I'm trying to figure those things out. The last step for me as far as from a physical standpoint is a little explosion, that little last juice, bounce that you get. So that's going to take me the longest time, but like I said, for the most part, I feel very good."
Hayward has been progressing in his recovery for the past several months after his initial ankle surgery and rehab and a second surgery to remove hardware from his ankle in May that had been causing discomfort. The forward has split his time between San Diego and Boston this summer, ultimately getting himself cleared for 5-on-5 work this month. He's taken part in four 5-on-5 sessions thus far.
"It's so much fun being able to play again, and play with my teammates," said Hayward. "Using these past two weeks, and the next month or so, will be good to kind of get back into the game, feel the rhythm, the timing, different things like that. But it feels pretty good."
The biggest hurdle for athletes after a traumatic injury can be regaining confidence in their body on the court from a mental standpoint, according to our BSJ medical expert Dr. Flynn. However, that hasn't been the case for the 28-year-old at this point of the recovery process.