Celtics forward Gordon Hayward twisted his right ankle in a workout Tuesday, coach Brad Stevens said Wednesday on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Zolak & Bertrand.”
Stevens characterized the injury, which occurred while Hayward was playing one-on-one against teammate Semi Ojeleye, as “not a long-term thing.” Stevens expects Hayward to be questionable against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night for the team’s first game after the All-Star break.
“Hopefully, he’ll be available, but I don’t know that for sure,” he said. “It’s not a huge issue by any means. We anticipate that he’ll be back within a short amount of time.”
The ankle Hayward twisted is not the same one he fractured and had surgically repaired in October 2017. Unlike some of his teammates, Hayward stuck around the Boston area during the time off and logged multiple workouts at the Auerbach Center. Hayward said before the All-Star break he planned to continue his “ankle work” during that time.
Stevens also provided an update on point guard Kyrie Irving, who had missed Boston’s last two games due to a right knee strain. Making his sixth All-Star appearance, Irving played 25 minutes for “Team LeBron” in Sunday’s All-Star game.
“From what I was told by our trainer that was down there, he felt really good by Friday night [and] would have been cleared to play in a game that we would have played,” Stevens said.
The Celtics’ game against the Bucks is the first contest of a challenging stretch for the 37-21 team. Other notable dates on the calendar include matchups against the Toronto Raptors (Feb. 26), Houston Rockets (March 3), Golden State Warriors (March 5), and Los Angeles Lakers (March 9).
“We need to continuously get better,” Stevens said. “This is, by far, the toughest part of our schedule coming up, and it’ll be a great test for us. I think that this team needs that badly. I think that we need to see where we’re at, hone in on what we need to do to become the best versions of ourselves, and be ready to be that when April 15 [start of the playoffs] rolls around.”