The way some people are telling it, Gordon Hayward's return this season isn't a matter of if, but when.
So, you can imagine the response of some people when noted-wearer-of-green-tinted-lenses Chris Mannix weighed in on why he thought it was unlikely Gordon would be taking the court with the Boston Celtics again this season in a recent article on the Eastern Conference:

"I saw Hayward before the All-Star break. He’s walking fine, but his ankle was still swollen and still purpleish, which makes it impossible to believe he will be ready to play before mid-April [...]"

This is most decidedly not what you want to hear from someone inclined to look at the optimistic side of Boston's (and thereby Gordon's) chances. But fret not! Major injuries with considerable trauma can cause a lot of internal bleeding and swelling, visible evidence of trauma that can persist for weeks and even months after a major injury. Sometimes, even surgical drainage can be needed, particularly in extremities that have a literal uphill battle to remove fluids. Moreover, intensive physical therapy can aggravate swelling, and - here's the important part - every body responds to these issues differently.

With that last bit in mind, it's important to say that Gordon Hayward and his medical team are the only people who will have the final say in whether he comes back, because all of us making armchair medical assessments (or, in the case of Mannix, All Star Week assessments) - we really don't know very much about Hayward's specific situation. Superficial observations of how a leg looks without the specifics of the patient in question - and, importantly, their personal needs for said leg - matter very little compared to what medical professionals can do to help an individual with important decisions that may not just impact this season, but future ones, too.
So, the short version of this article: what Mannix saw may not be encouraging, but it shouldn't be discouraging, either. If he was done for the year, he'd be done, and we'd know it. Until then, as Danny Ainge and company have reiterated ad nauseum this season, they don't expect him back.

Until we know for sure, that'll have to do.
(Looking pretty good to me.)

For more stories by Justin, click here.

Image: Sports Illustrated
Follow Justin at @justinquinnn

Justinquinnn 3/02/2018 12:51:00 PM Edit
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