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A night out with Gordon Hayward, discussing his recovery, his team, and his eventual return

Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward watches the Boston Celtics take on the San Antonio Spurs.  At left is his trainer Jason Smeathers.
Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward watches the Celtics take on the San Antonio Spurs. At left is his trainer Jason Smeathers. –Barry Chin/The Boston Globe

It’s nearing 10 p.m. on Friday at The Local, and the crowd at this quaint Wellesley restaurant has thinned as families head into the chilly night with to-go boxes. The bar is busy but not packed, and patrons are paying little mind to the Celtics game against the Spurs that is glowing on televisions above the shelves of liquor.

But at a small, square table in a quiet back corner, one man is quite interested.

When Gordon Hayward signed a four-year, $128 million contract with the Celtics last July, he dreamed of playing in games like this one. But less than five minutes into his Oct. 17 debut against the Cavaliers, he went up for an alley-oop and landed awkwardly, suffering a gruesome left ankle dislocation-fracture that would sideline him indefinitely.

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