Brad Stevens on Gordon Hayward’s recovery: ‘He’s not playing this year’

Gordon Hayward ignited a mini firestorm Friday when he released a video on The Players Tribune of his current rehab program from the fractured ankle he suffered in the Celtics’ season-opening loss to the Cavaliers.

Hayward is seen doing ball-handling and shooting drills and his jump shot looked good and comfortable. 

The story ran with just two lines of text: “Patience. One goal. More coming soon on my road back to the court.”

Naturally the media had plenty of questions for Celtics coach Brad Stevens at shootaround Saturday and he put all of the rumors to bed immediately about the possibility of a late-season return for the All-Star forward.

“He’s not playing this year,” Stevens told reporters. “I don’t know what else to say.”

It may be a hard pill to swallow for Celtics fans who saw just how comfortable Hayward looked in the video, but one line of dialogue from the Celtics forward’s trainer gave a more accurate look into his current state of rehabilitation.

“We haven’t pushed it that hard in awhile, let’s ramp it up again,” he said. “We’ve done a lot of ball handling, a lot of shooting, we’ve just got to keep building it up.”

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