With total respect to my home country, the USA, , I constantly seek groundbreaking information on nutrition, exercise, longevity and supplementation overseas. Apparently, so do the Celtics. I have been constantly monitoring Gordon's Hayward recovery from the devastating ankle injury, and there is no doubt in my mind that it is on the fast track. I had to know why, and that is what this article is all about. There is much to the story, so I will break it down in two parts.

Celtics Boss Danny Ainge has learned to recognize and acquire talent in the form of players, coaches and staff, and the same can be said of his choices for Boston's medical and training staff. Sport Scientist Johann Bilsborough was hired by the Celtics in 2015 and is now Director of Sport Science as a part of Boston's medical staff. He hails from Australia, and he is not the first Aussie Sport Scientist to be welcomed into the fold of an NBA team. The Warriors are one of the teams that have done so (Per CBSSports' Matt Moore):

The Warriors after winning the NBA championship with the fourth-fewest regular season games missed due to injury overhauled and restructured their training and strength and conditioning staff.

The person now overseeing that department is Lachlan Penfold, whose hiring as head of physical performance and sports medicine was announced in July. He previously worked in a variety of sports in the sports science-rich country of Australia.The Warriors did not renew the contract of head athletic trainer JoHan Wang while director of athletic performance Keke Lyles and strength and conditioning coach Michael Roncariti went to the Atlanta Hawks.

Now gone from the Celtics Medical staff are the much-respected, even revered, Ed Lacerte, Bryan Doo and Vladimir Shulman. Australia simply does not have the large pool of natural athletes that the USA is blessed with, so they have formed the Australian Institute of Sport and the Australian Center for Excellence. The task of these organizations is to sharpen the skills of their athletes, monitor and modify their nutritional programs, hasten recovery from injury and teach the players to deal with the mental aspects they may encounter.

Dr. Johann Bilsborough

I have reported repeatedly in CelticsLife that Gordon Hayward's recovery from injury is definitely much more rapid than most would have expected. Celtics Announcer, Mike Gorman, has reported that Gordon is working out 8-9 hours in the gym daily, and that has certainly played a role. The Bulgarians are some of the strongest men in the world and often work out six times per day, understanding that the body will adapt to the repeated stress with some limitations.

Some researchers believe that poor nutrition may be responsible for the frequent injuries among American athletes, so I am sure that Hayward is on a strict diet and supplementation program that we most likely will not hear about. My best information about nutrition and supplementation originates in Europe. I believe Dr. Bilsborough is covering all of these bases.

We do hear about Gordon on the AlterG treadmill and using virtual reality training devices but little else. That is to be expected. NBA teams keep injury and recovery information close to the vest. Gordon has not totally ruled out returning this season, and I believe Dr. Bilsborough and his recovery program is at least partially responsible for that hope. We are seeing more Australian players, such as Ben Simmons, Aron Baynes, Joe Ingles and Patty Mills coming to the NBA, and now the Sport Scientists from that continent are also joining NBA teams. There is much more to the story, and I will cover that in Part 2.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Hayward photo via Erik Drost/Flickr
Bilsborough photo via Medium.com

Tom Lane 3/11/2018 09:05:00 AM Edit
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