Gordon Hayward hasn't played for the Boston Celtics since his horrific ankle injury in the opening game of last season against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
However, he's now very close towards returning to the court for the Celtics, as he has been playing 5-on-5 basketball with teammates since the start of September in advance of training camp later this month.
At the Auerbach Center, Boston's new training facility, Hayward provided an update on his health as training camp approaches.
He expressed how excited he was to finally get back on the court for the Celtics next season, stating that he's 'basically 100 percent'.
He said, via ESPN: "I would say I'm basically 100 percent. There's certain things that I think are going to take time -- even if I was 100 percent healthy, I'm not 100 percent as far as basketball-wise, just because I haven't played in a year.
"I'm trying to figure those things out. The last step for me as far as from a physical standpoint is a little explosion, that little last juice bounce that you get. So that's going to take me the longest time. But like I said, for the most part, I feel very good."
The 28-year-old said as well that 'it feels pretty good' to play alongside his Celtics teammates once more on the court.
He said: "It's so much fun being able to play again, and play with my teammates. Using these past two weeks, and the next month or so, will be good to kind of get back into the game, feel the rhythm, the timing, different things like that. But it feels pretty good."
Opening night availability
As for when he will be on the court in a real game for Boston, Hayward said he plans to be on the court during the preseason, as well as opening night.
"Yeah, 100 percent I expect to be out there [on opening night]. This is what this time is for me -- to kind of find my groove a little bit.
"Like I said, you can do all the drills you want, all the cardio, the jumping [and] agility stuff. But there's nothing like playing 5-on-5, so when I play out here with my teammates, when we get into practice situations, that's going to be the best -- playing in the preseason games, that will be the best work I can get."
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