Gordon Hayward will be back before you know it, folks.
Hayward, who fractured his left ankle six minutes into Boston’s season opener last October, said he’s making great progress over the last few weeks following a complication that required a second surgery in late May to remove the plate and screws that were inserted during the initial operation and had been causing pain outside of his ankle.
Hayward recently dunked the ball for the first time since the gruesome injury and can now run in a straight line and come to a stop and has been doing lateral movements without pain.
— NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) July 20, 2018
“I dunked the basketball for the first time off my left foot without pain last week,” Hayward told the Boston Globe Thursday night in Boston. “That felt awesome. I went into it very soft and gingerly, and after I did it, I was like, ‘OK, that didn’t hurt it all.’ I did it again, and it felt good.”
Though he was able to dunk on it and has been making similar cuts he would make in-game, Hayward still isn’t completely comfortable using his ankle to this extent.
“Leading up to doing something new, I think I’m anxious and nervous a little bit, and, subconsciously, I think a little scared,” he said. “A lot of times when I do something new, I think I like to just protect [my ankle], and I don’t go as hard as I probably could. After I do something a couple times, my brain and my body kind of tells me, ‘OK, it’s fine. You can do this again.’ The bone is strong, everything is strong, and then it takes a little bit, but then it’s kind of normal.”
Next on Hayward’s checklist is overcoming these nerves and playing five-on-five scrimmages, something he will likely achieve in August, according to plan. Hayward also said the injury has influenced him to pay more attention towards stretching, rehab, and taking care of his body during throughout the season and offseason.
“I’m just about full speed,” Hayward happily expressed.
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