Sportress of Blogitude

Brad Stevens provides Gordon Hayward update amid photo hype

Boston Celtics boss Danny Ainge created something of a firestorm earlier this week by tweeting out a photograph that featured Gordon Hayward not wearing a brace on his injured left ankle.

Ainge took to Twitter to post the photo, in which he notes the absence of said brace.

Ainge’s tweet immediately led to speculation that Hayward conceivably could be further along in his rehab after suffering a gruesome dislocated ankle and fractured tibia in an opening night loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, however, pumped the brakes on any such notion.

“Obviously, nothing has changed with his timelines,” Stevens told reporters in a conference call from London ahead of Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers. “This isn’t like a huge ordeal. This is what was expected.”

Despite some hope early on after the injury that Hayward could make a return sometime this season, the prevailing belief held by both the Celtics and Hayward himself is that he’ll be sitting out the entire 2017-18 campaign. Stevens added on Wednesday that there have been no substantive discussions about deviating from said plan.

“I think we’re approaching 12 weeks out or something like that,” Stevens said, “and (this) was where he was anticipated to be if the treatment would continue to go well — moving out of the boot, then the brace, and now being able to do without.

“… No change in our expectations or from what we thought from the time of the surgery. This is the process of the rehab and everything else after the surgery happened. Nobody’s told me anything different. There’s nothing more to read into.”

It would seem Ainge making note of the fact Hayward was getting around without the brace is much ado about nothing. Well, beyond whipping up Celtics fans into what appears to be an unnecessary frenzy.