Report: Celtics' Gordon Hayward to Have MRI on Ankle Injury Suffered vs. 76ers

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 18, 2020

Boston Celtics' Gordon Hayward (20) drives toward the basket as Philadelphia 76ers' Tobias Harris (12) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball first round playoff game Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

Boston Celtics star Gordon Hayward will undergo an MRI after suffering a right ankle sprain late in his team's postseason opener against the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews.

"Sprained ankle," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said of Hayward's injury after a 109-101 victory. "Don't know the severity, but he's clearly in pain, and it looked like it had some swelling already. That's my medical review."

After the game, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe tweeted out a photo of Hayward leaving the arena in a boot and on crutches:

gary washburn @GwashburnGlobe

https://t.co/rgsM5QfFdG https://t.co/oBHb9TEBCh

Hayward limped off the court as the Celtics held a 101-91 lead over the Sixers with 3:08 to play in the fourth quarter.

He was ruled out for the remainder of the contest shortly after. He recorded 12 points on 5-of-13 shooting, including 2-of-6 from beyond the arc, in 34 minutes of action prior to exiting.

Hayward's tenure with the Celtics has been defined by injuries. He played just one game in his first season with the team after suffering a fractured tibia and dislocated ankle.

The lingering effects from that injury were felt last season, as Hayward was mostly relegated to coming off the bench. His 11.5 points per game marked his lowest total since he was a rookie in 2010-11, and his three-point percentage of 33.3 was his worst since 2013-14.

Hayward has looked closer to his usual self this season, averaging 17.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game in 52 appearances, including the seeding games at the bubble campus.

Even in a bounce-back year, Hayward has already missed 20 games this season, including 13 straight because of a broken hand suffered Nov. 9 against the San Antonio Spurs.

Boston's ability to navigate around Hayward's injuries is a big reason it occupies the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 48-24 record. Head coach Brad Stevens will likely use a smaller lineup with Marcus Smart seeing a bigger role should Hayward miss time.