Yahoo’s Chris Mannix has a new column about the fatally flawed contenders in the Eastern conference. He drops a nugget about Gordon Hayward that is anything but promising:
Also: Don’t count on Gordon Hayward coming back this season, either. Stevens has been unequivocal when asked about Hayward (“I’ve said all year, not coming back,” Stevens said) and now the calendar is working against him. I saw Hayward before the All-Star break. He’s walking fine, but his ankle was still swollen and still purpleish, which makes it impossible to believe he will be ready to play before mid-April.
Still swollen and purpleish? Yikes.
We caught a glimpse of Hayward yesterday:
He’s walking without any sign of a limp and I heard Danny Ainge say this morning on 98.5 that Hayward is doing court work but still not ready to fly with the team.
The team shoots down any hopes of Hayward returning this season when asked by the media. But they always use the softest language like, “we don’t expect him back” or “we’re not pressuring him to come back.” They have yet to definitively say, “there’s zero chance of him playing so stop asking that stupid question.”
I’ve remained mildly optimistic that Hayward could return this season for the simple fact that the injury happened in October. I think it’s time to let go of those hopes.