Agent: Gordon Hayward unlikely to return this season

The good news is Gordon Hayward underwent successful surgery to repair his broken tibia last night in Boston, and according to his father the procedure went as well as it could and agent Mark Bartelstein noted that Gordon is expected to make a full recovery:

Unfortunately, Bartelstein also noted that as of now it isn't likely that Hayward will be donning the Celtic green on the court for the 2017-18 season:

It's obviously best to play it safe when it comes to Hayward's health and to a lesser degree the future of the Celtics franchise. Although we didn't get a good look at the C's at full-strength this season we all know that knocking off the Golden State Warriors in 2017-18 was a real long-shot and the plan was to truly grow into a contender in the years to come.

After witnessing the gruesome injury Tuesday night, Celtics fans had expected the worst in terms of Hayward's immediate future, but we were handing a sliver of hope for a late season return from local orthopedic surgeon Dr. Chris Chihlas after the opener.

Bartelstein is simply taking the pressure off Hayward by announcing that it's unlikely to return this season. The Celtics won't pressure Hayward into returning before he's ready, but if he is cleared later this season don't be surprised if he wants to get back on the floor. Another report out of Boston last night noted that a March return can't be ruled out:

Former Celtic Shavlik Randolph suffered a similiar injury and also believes the timeline for recovery could work out where we see Hayward on the floor before the season is out:

If Hayward is cleared later this season he's more than likely going to want to get himself acclimated to playing again. I'd imagine even if he played limited minutes at the end of the year he'd want to get back on the floor to clear his mind from the injury albatross so he can head into next season having already tested his healed ankle in a real game.

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