Gordon Hayward unlikely to play in Celtics-Bucks

The team has recalled two-way player RJ Hunter.

Gordon Hayward
Gordon Hayward in action against the Philadelphia 76ers. –AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Celtics forward Gordon Hayward is “unlikely” to play against the Milwaukee Bucks, coach Brad Stevens said during shootaround Thursday morning.

Officially listed as questionable with a right ankle sprain, Hayward suffered the injury Tuesday while playing one-on-one with teammate Semi Ojeleye at the Auerbach Center. He is not expected to be sidelined for an extended period of time.

“It was definitely frustrating,” Hayward said Thursday. “But I don’t think it’ll be that big of a deal. I’ll be all right.”

If Hayward ends up being unavailable against the Bucks, Stevens said two-way player RJ Hunter, whom the team recalled Thursday, will suit up in his place. Hunter is averaging 14.1 points on 36.1 percent shooting in 12 games with Boston’s G-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws. He has yet to make an appearance with the Celtics this season but played 36 games for Stevens in 2015-16.


“I always pay attention to those guys,” Stevens said. “I’m a lot less concerned about what they’re doing from a statistical standpoint … but more [focused on] are they ready to come and play in what we’re trying to accomplish? I think RJ’s familiarity helps that anyway, and it probably makes that transition ever smoother.”

Bucks at a glance

■ When, where: Thursday, 8 p.m., at Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee.

■  TV, radio: TNT, NBC Sports Boston, WBZ-FM 98.5.

■  Scoring: Giannis Antetokounmpo 27.2, Khris Middleton 17.1, Eric Bledsoe 15.8, Malcolm Brogdon 15.8.

■  Rebounding: Antetokounmpo 12.7, Middleton 5.8, Brogdon 4.8.

■  Assists: Antetokounmpo 6.0, Bledsoe 5.4, Middleton 4.2.

■  Head to head: This is the third and final meeting. The Celtics are 1-1 vs. Milwaukee.

■  Miscellany: The Bucks are 23-5 at home but lost their last home game, by 20 points to Orlando Feb. 9 . . . The Bucks were without Antetokounmpo (right knee soreness) in that game . . . In Sunday’s All-Star Game, Antetokounmpo had 38 points to lead all scorers . . . Milwaukee has won 14 of its last 16.


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