Sportress of Blogitude

Gordon Hayward reaches significant milestone on road to recovery

Gordon Hayward has been navigating a grueling rehabilitation since dislocating his left ankle and fracturing his left tibia in his first regular-season game in a Boston Celtics uniform back in October.

The hard work is paying off as Hayward shared some encouraging news this week about reaching a significant milestone on his road to recovery. 

The 28-year-old forward revealed he dunked off his left foot for the first time during a workout last weekend.

“I dunked the basketball for the first time off my left foot — without pain — last week,” Hayward said Thursday night, via “That felt awesome. I went into it very soft and gingerly, and after I did it, I was like, ‘OK, that didn’t hurt at all.’ I did it again, and it felt good.”

Hayward admits that trying something new in rehab makes him “anxious and nervous a little bit, and, subconsciously, I think a little scared.” Repeated attempts, however, leaves Hayward confident and ready to tackle the next challenge.

There of course has been no shortage of ups and downs and progress and setbacks for Hayward — including a second surgery in May — as he pushes himself back to health. That said, every milestone merits a sigh of relief for Hayward, not to mention the Celtics and the team’s fans.

When Hayward makes a full return to the court remains to be seen. Whenever that day comes, though, Hayward has a lofty goal in mind for a Celtics team that reached the Eastern Conference Finals without contributions from himself and Kyrie Irving.

“We’re going to try to win the whole thing. That’s what our goal is; that’s where our goal should be. We have the talent to do it,” Hayward said Thursday, via NBC Sports Boston.