BOSTON (AP) — Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward was meeting with doctors on Monday to determine whether he needed surgery on his broken left hand.
Hayward’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, said they were still evaluating options. Celtics coach Brad Stevens said after the team’s morning shootaround that the surgery, if necessary, would take place as soon as the doctor’s schedule allowed it.
Hayward broke his hand in a collision with Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge in the second quarter of Saturday night’s game in San Antonio. He left the game and did not return.
“He was frustrated. He was down,” Stevens said. “But this isn’t like last time.”
Hayward, 29, missed all but five minutes of the 2017-18 season after breaking his leg in the first quarter of the opener against Cleveland.
Forward Jayson Tatum also said Hayward seemed frustrated after the latest setback.
“I feel bad for him. He was just getting back to being himself,” Tatum said. “It’s a bummer.”
Hayward returned last season and played in 72 games, most of them off the bench, and averaged 11.5 points and 4.5 rebounds — far short of his numbers before the injury. He had been closer to his peak performance in the first seven games this season, averaging 19 points, four assists and a career-high seven rebounds before the latest injury.
“The crazy thing is he was playing unbelievable,” forward Enes Kanter said. “I said in the beginning of the season, ‘He’s back, 100%. And he’s gonna shock the world.’ He was shocking the world. Now he’s got that injury. But I know he’s gonna come back and be amazing again.”
Kanter was cleared to return for Monday night’s game against the Dallas Mavericks after missing seven games with a left knee contusion. Kanter said he was not aware of any limitations on his playing time.
“Let’s see what happens tonight,” he said. “I’ve been like trying to get into game shape the last two weeks. We’ll just see how it feels.”