Brad Stevens: Gordon Hayward is 'not playing this year'

Gordon Hayward is already looking great after his devastating ankle injury. More

Gordon Hayward is already looking great after his devastating ankle injury. More

Brad Stevens has made it clear: Gordon Hayward will not be playing again this season.

Even with the Celtics enjoying success this season, Hayward's recovery from a gruesome opening night ankle injury has been an important sidebar throughout the season.

While that would make it hard to believe Hayward would be ready anytime soon, the video posted by the Player's Tribune keeps a tiny bit of that optimism alive.

"I've said it all year, not coming back", Stevens said prior to the team's game against the New York Knicks last Saturday.

Yes, it's Hayward doing "basketball activities", but it's more than just spot shooting: The Celtics forward goes through some decently intense dribbling drills (while also making every shot, thanks to the wonders of video editing).

"Did he dunk?" Stevens deadpanned when told that this was the first time we had seen video of Hayward jumping. "He's up to 60 percent of his weight on the alter-G".

"It's great, and I think the videos are great, too, because, like, it continues to show the progress".

To further back up Stevens stance on the issue, Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports reported Thursday that he saw Hayward right before the All-Star break and while he was walking fine, his ankle was still swollen and purplish. "Because sometimes when you're in the midst of that long rehab you don't feel the progress of the day-to-day the way now we all might see a video, or somebody that hasn't seen him may see a video, and say, 'Man, he is really getting better'".

"Yeah, check back tomorrow", cracked Stevens before jokingly adding, "He'll be doubtful Monday".

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