After bits and pieces of hope from the Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge and Gordon Hayward himself during Hayward’s recovery from a fractured ankle, Ainge indicated recently that Hayward had suffered a setback.
Although Ainge subsequently backtracked on using “setback” as his choice word, an impediment in recovery is far from out of the ordinary when dealing with such an invasive injury.
“He [Hayward] did have a setback about a month ago, which is not unexpected with the injury that he had where you have a lot of soft tissue damage in addition to the bone,” Said Dr. Selene Parekh, an orthopedic surgeon who is not Hayward’s doctor, but has been tracking Hayward’s injury, recovery and progress from afar.
An unfortunate yet timely and informative guest on the latest Celtics Beat Podcast, Parekh combed through the catalog of Celtics injuries with host Adam Kaufman. With Kyrie Irving now out three-to-six weeks, Hayward’s recovery is now suddenly on the backburner for Celtics fans.
Although his status this year is all but forgotten, Hayward is inching closer to moving more strenuously on the court.
“As long as he doesn’t have any setbacks, you’re probably looking at another four-to-six weeks to be out there on the basketball court doing some more normal types of basketball activities,” said Parekh, who in addition to being an orthopedic surgeon, is also a professor at Duke University and the founder of The Fantasy Doctors.
Hayward recently appeared on Celtics.com to discuss his progress among other topics. Hayward indicated that he’s improving on the AlterG (an anti-gravity treadmill), and aiming to get to a point where he can run on a regular treadmill. Hayward, who turned 28 on March 23, also said that the next step after that will be jumping, and then incorporating some of the running and jumping from the treadmill to the basketball court.
.@gordonhayward's had a lot of time to watch film this season….. a LOT of time.
Take a peak at what he's been noticing while watching his team. pic.twitter.com/UP1rndu2wc
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 22, 2018
What is the AlterG? Because the Celtics have $127 million invested in Hayward, this advanced rehabilitation machine provides athletes like Hayward the ability rehab quicker than normal.
“It allows athletes to get a great cardiovascular workout, to work out motion, agility through the treadmill, but again, anti-gravity, so that you don’t have the impact that you normally would had you just gone to your local gym and are running on a treadmill,” Parekh said.
Gordon Hayward’s recovery from a fractured ankle would never have gotten Celtics fans this hopeful as little as five years ago, but thanks to social media, Hayward – along with Ainge and the Celtics – have kept fans in the loop. It certainly raised the hopes of many when Hayward posted a video to the Players’ Tribune on March 2, perhaps even Parekh himself.
“I was one of the guys out there thinking with the way things were progressing, how he came out of his boot so quickly by December, I was thinking that he was going to progress and may have even surprised us all with an appearance in the playoffs,” Parekh added.
Parekh, like the rest of us have admitted that Hayward is indeed a non-participant this season, but with his continued progression and the advanced technologies at the Celtics’ disposal, it’s certainly easy to fathom Hayward returning to prime form next season.