Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward is making strides in his recover from a fractured ankle suffered on Opening Night, and is now without a walking boot.
Hayward got the approval from doctors and is wearing just a small brace on his left ankle
“The process is always fluid and can change at any time, but, for me, today was the day where I walk around without the boot at all,” Hayward said, per ESPN.
“And so, I’m going to try to move forward without the boot. Depending on how my foot reacts, how much activity I’m able to do on it without it being sore, I could move back into the boot or I could never look back and never see the boot again.
“I’m just taking it day by day; today has been awesome so far without the boot.”
Hayward also talked about his recovery process.
“I think I’m a goal-oriented type of person. So I set my sights on a [short-term] goal and just focus on that until that goal is completed,” Hayward said.
“I have a great group of people around me; the Celtics’ staff has been phenomenal, accommodating to everything that I need. My trainer [Jason Smeathers] is here, my wife [Robyn] at home, everybody is keeping me motivated and making sure that I’m sticking with protocol.
It’s definitely like a team thing for me. I have a lot of people that are helping me. That makes it easier.”
Hayward credits the daily shooting and rehab routine in his impressive recovery.
“I think it really helps with the routine. It gives me something to track, to look at and says, ‘OK, this is my schedule for the week, this is what I’m going to do each day,'” Hayward said. “It allows me to kinda keep moving forward. That’s been good.”
Celtics coach Brad Stevens spoke about Hayward’s progress.
“It’s another box to check,” Stevens told reporters. “There’s a big difference between getting out of the boot and playing in an NBA game, though. So he’s got a long way to go. But it’s good that he has these things as goals, and he keeps checking them off. And he’s working really diligently at it. And he feels good about that. So that’s a good thing.”