The Boston Celtics will be without the services of forward Gordon Hayward for about a month, the team announced today.
Hayward was diagnosed with a Grade 3 right ankle sprain and will be out approximately four weeks, the team said Tuesday.
#NEBHInjuryReport Celtics forward @gordonhayward suffered a Grade III sprain of his right ankle during the fourth quarter of last night’s game against Philadelphia. He is expected to miss approximately four weeks.
Further updates will be provided as appropriate.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) August 18, 2020
The injury occurred while jumping in a crowd for a rebound with just over three minutes remaining and Hayward’s foot came down on teammate Daniel Theis’ left foot.
The timeline for recovery means Hayward will miss the rest of the first round at a minimum and possibly some of the semifinals if the Celtics advance. He already planned to leave the bubble for a time if the team was still playing in September. His wife is pregnant and is scheduled to deliver sometime next month.
With Hayward out, it could mean a shift to a three-guard lineup and more minutes for Marcus Smart, who has been filling the role of Boston’s sixth man. Smart played 32 minutes in Game 1. He started 40 games during the shortened regular season.
The Celtics went 14-6 without Hayward this season.
Hayward, now in his third season with the Celtics, finished with 12 points, four rebounds and four steals in 34 minutes.
Boston went on to win the game and take a 1-0 series lead over Philadelphia thanks to a combined 61 points from young swingmen Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
This season, Hayward seemed to brush away most of the mental trauma that had been lingering from his career-threatening ankle injury two years prior. He Hayward fractured a bone in his left hand on Nov. 9 and missed a month before returning to Boston’s lineup.
His numbers this season — 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.1 assists per game on 38.3% 3-point shooting — are more in line with the stats he piled up as an All-Star with the Utah Jazz in 2016-17. He scored 20 or more points in 21 games this season, with Boston going 15-6 in those games.
Informaton from The Associated Press was used in this report.