Gordon Hayward is firmly on the comeback trail and Boston Celtics fans are excited for what he can add to their team next season.
With LeBron James departing the Eastern Conference, the C's have been installed as the favourites to make it to the NBA Finals largely because of Hayward's return.
The small forward suffered a horrific season-ending ankle injury just minutes into his Boston debut against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
It's been a long road back to recovery for the 28-year-old but he's ready to put that nightmare behind him and return to the court at 100 percent for the start of the 2018-19 campaign.
Taking the final steps
He has been keeping fans updated on his social media accounts and his latest post was definitely the most significant.
The former Utah Jazz star posted a video of himself moving well on the court and knocking down shots.
Hayward looks to be in great shape and he revealed that he'll be ready to ramp it up even more next month.
“I’ll be ready to go for sure,” Hayward said, according to Connor Yohn of GordanHayward20. “Since I’ve had my second surgery, I’ve been feeling a lot better.
"My ankle has reacted a lot better to different drills, strength movements and different things I’ve done on it, so the next step is go live and play against other people.
"Instead of just doing rehearse drills, I’m doing reactive drills. It’s doing a lot better.”
The Celtics expect the All-Star to be ready to feature in their pre-season training camp at full tilt.
This is great news for fans in Boston and will fuel their expectations for next year.
With the team reaching the Conference Finals last season without both Hayward and Kyrie Irving, the Boston faithful are full of optimism that the duo can help deliver another championship.
In his final year with the Jazz, Hayward averaged a career-best 21.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.
If he's able to reach that same level again, his presence will certainly boost the Celtics' title aspirations.
The way their young stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are also blossoming, this team will take some stopping in their pursuit of success.
With their collection of talent on the court, as well as one of the league's top coaches in Brad Stevens, they may be the team best equipped to compete with the Golden State Warriors.
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