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Agent: 'Unlikely' Gordon Hayward returns this season

Ty Anderson
October 19, 2017 - 7:38 am

Mark Bartelstein, the agent for Gordon Hayward, has told ESPN that he believes it’s unlikely that the 27-year-old Hayward will return to the Celtics this season.

"We expect him to make a full recovery and return to his All-Star form," Bartelstein said of Hayward, who played just five minutes before suffering the injury on Tuesday.

Hayward underwent surgery for a dislocated left ankle and fractured tibia at New England Baptist Hospital around the same time that the Celtics tipped off against the Bucks at TD Garden on Wednesday evening, which was confirmed by Celtics coach Brad Stevens after the game, and actually appeared on the Garden jumbotron with a video message for the Garden crowd (who went wild seeing him on screen).

“What's up, everybody? I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has kept me in their thoughts and prayers," Hayward, introduced by Marcus Smart, told the crowd. "I'm going to be all right. It's hurting me that I can't be there for the home opener; I want nothing more just to be with my teammates and walk out onto that floor tonight. I'll be supporting you guys from here. I wish you the best of luck. Kill it tonight."

With Hayward, signed to a $128 million contract this past summer, likely done for the season, the Celtics can apply for an $8.4 million disabled player exemption. That exemption can be used in a trade or on a free agent. But finding a useful piece to sign or trade for in that price range is going to be borderline impossible for the Celtics, who would not want to give up anything of real substance in a trade. 

The Celtics lost their first full game without Hayward, 108-100, to Milwaukee.

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