Gordon Hayward is expected to be back at full strength this summer.
The 28-year-old forward signed a four-year, $128 million contract with the Celtics in July, but he suffered a gruesome leg injury in Boston’s 2017-18 opener against the Cavaliers and missed the rest of the season.
Hayward underwent successful surgery to remove a plate and screws from his injured leg late last month. Boston coach Brad Stevens told The Boston Globe that Hayward is close to completing his comeback.
“Everything is good and pointed toward being back exactly where he was—hopefully pain-free, because that plate is taken out—in the middle of July, which probably points to an early-August, mid-August fully cleared time frame,” Stevens said Monday.
Hayward spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Jazz. He averaged 21.9 points and was named an All-Star in 2016-17. Hayward played for Stevens at Butler from 2008-10.
The Celtics finished 2017-18 with a 55-27 record. They advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they fell to the Cavaliers in seven games.