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Celtics' Gordon Hayward cleared to return tonight

Hayward will return to the floor just four weeks after surgery on broken left hand

Boston Celtics forward is available to play against the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight (7:30 ET, League Pass), the team announced prior to the game.

Hayward went through shootaround on Monday with the intention of him playing against the Cavs. Hayward said Sunday afternoon he could return sooner than previously expected from a broken left hand that has sidelined him since Nov. 9.

Hayward’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, told Yahoo Sports that his client planned to have his hand tested before tipoff on Monday.

“He has worked unbelievably hard to keep in great shape and do everything humanly possible to get back this early,” Bartelstein told Yahoo Sports of Hayward. “He’s not 100 percent and probably won’t be for a few weeks, but he wants to play in the worst way.”

Stevens also ruled out Marcus Smart (eye infection) and Robert Williams (sore left hip) for Monday’s game.

Hayward was originally expected to be out until late December as he recovered from surgery to his left hand, but has noticed steady improvement over the last week and is eager to get back on the court.

“I can’t do anything that’s going to hurt it,” Hayward said. “I’m going to have to get hit equally as hard, probably harder than last time because I have the metal in my hand now.

The Celtics, currently second in the East, bring a three-game winning streak into Monday’s matchup. Before the injury, Hayward was averaging 18.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists through the first eight games.