Gordon Hayward - Mind over Ankle

Gordon Hayward's gruesome ankle injury during his first game with the Celtics was expected to be season ending.

If you didn't see it live, you likely saw it on YouTube. Five minutes into his first game with the Celtics, Gordon Hayward came down on his ankle. Hard.

The 2017 NBA All-Star said in mid-December he is open-minded about the possibility of returning this season. During an interview on the Today Show in November, Hayward credited his wife, Robyn, and his two children with helping him recover as he began the arduous journey to get back to 100 percent.

"I think having the two little ones will really help me,'' he said. "They give you a little bit of perspective, because they don't know what's going on.

"They just know Daddy has a boo boo, and so they like to decorate it with stickers and give it a hug and a kiss because that's what we do when they get boo boos," he said. "It's a little comic relief with them, for sure."

Hayward shed his walking boot in December though he'll still wear a brace throughout his rehab. He's now allowed to do more shooting and begin working more on mobility. While the injury left the Celtics with a Hayward size hole (he stands at 6'8"), they've managed to play some incredibly impressive ball without him. If he can return this season, Hayward would surely enhance Boston’s chances of knocking off Cleveland to return to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010.