Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward writes in a new post on his blog that he will be "resuming rehab soon" and has his sights set on "being back to my usual self" by the start of the 2018-19 season.
In a post titled "Won't Be Long Now", Hayward writes about the procedure he had on May 30 to remove the plate and screws that were implanted following the broken fibula he suffered on Oct. 17. In it, he explains how he and the Celtics' team of doctors worked through the "complication" with the materials in his ankle to get him back on track:
I had been progressing really well. I had been doing cuts laterally. I was jumping. I hadn’t done anything that explosive and I wasn’t quite 100 percent with any of it, but I was slowly building up to that.
Problem was, I was also still having some pain on the outside of my ankle, kind of where the peroneal tendon is. I had been reporting back daily how I was feeling, and the team that I was working with in Indianapolis—along with the Celtics training staff—had surmised that it could be the hardware they put in during my initial surgery causing some irritation
So I called up Dr. Porter, who collaborated on my surgery and who’s advised us throughout this process, just to ask what he thought. I explained to him what was going on, and he said it could be a couple different things, so we should do a test to figure out what it is. He told me that it could just be that my muscles were sore, and it was a strength issue, and I just needed to continue to rehab and have it get stronger, and eventually, it would go away. Or it could be something different.
After speaking with Dr. Porter and doing further testing of his ankle, it was determined that Hayward's pain was preventing him from progressing in his rehabilitation work. He had the hardware removed via surgery -- "the plate, the screws and the tightrope that was in there," Hayward writes -- and says he basically has a "normal ankle" and that there are "some holes in the bone where they had to put the screws in," which will heal.
They said the surgery went really well, and now I just have to let the incision (and my soft tissue in the places where they went in) recover properly. But that is a really easy recovery. And in probably four to six weeks I will be right back to the point where I was before I got the surgery, except for I won’t have that same pain.
Hayward writes that he is hoping to return to playing full-court, five-on-five basketball by the end of next month.
Once I get started, I’ll be jogging, then running, and then cutting and moving, and all that could happen within one to two weeks of each other, to where by the end of July I am playing full court, five-on-five basketball. And that’s probably the most exciting thing I could tell all of you.
On May 31, the Celtics were minutes away from their first Finals berth in eight years. However, they lost in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finalsto the Cleveland Cavaliers -- a remarkable feat considering they reached that game without injured stars Hayward and Kyrie Irving.
Irving missed the final 15 games of the 2017-18 season and the entire playoffs to repair his left knee. Roughly a week ago, Celtics coach Brad Stevens told reporters he is hopeful that Irving could return to the court sometime in August.
All of that points to the Celtics having high hopes for 2018-19, something Hayward also addressed in his blog post. Hayward cites the valuable playoff experience youngsters Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum got during Boston's 2018 playoff run and expects it to pay off come next season.
It will almost be like a pick-your-poison type deal, especially if somebody is not having their best game. You’ve got three, four, even five other guys that can pick it up for you, and that is a good problem to have. You can never have too many options, and we’ve got a coach in Brad Stevens who knows how to put everyone in a position to be successful better than anyone. I know he will be able to figure it out.
I also know that there isn’t going to be any ego. The guys that we have on the team, we want to win a title. And if everyone has that mindset, then nothing else matters.
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