Celtics forward Gordon Hayward is expected to miss approximately four weeks after suffering an ankle injury in Game 1 of the team’s first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers.
According to the team, Hayward suffered a Grade III sprain of his right ankle.
“I feel for him more than anything else,” coach Brad Stevens said Tuesday afternoon. “It’s our job to make up for all the great things he does by committee.”
Stevens said Hayward’s treatment options are still to be determined. It is possible he will leave the NBA’s Walt Disney World campus, which would require a quarantine period upon his return. Hayward had already planned to leave the “bubble” for the birth of his fourth child, as his wife Robyn is due in September.
While battling for a defensive rebound during the fourth quarter of Boston’s 109-101 victory over the Sixers, Hayward’s right foot landed awkwardly on the foot of teammate Daniel Theis. Hayward briefly fell to the ground before hopping out of bounds. Theis gained possession of the ball, and the Celtics pushed the ball for an easy layup while Hayward remained off the court by Philadelphia’s basket.
Jaylen Brown then intentionally fouled Sixers guard Alec Burks to stop play. Grimacing, Hayward was helped off the court and immediately visited the locker room. He did not return to the game and left the arena in a walking boot and crutches. (Note: The ankle is not the one he fractured in the season-opener in October 2017.)
Gordon Hayward being helped off the court after appearing to injure his ankle. pic.twitter.com/ePanph0cwZ
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) August 18, 2020