Celtics' Gordon Hayward Out 4 Weeks After Suffering Sprained Ankle Injury

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 2020

Boston Celtics' Gordon Hayward (20) shoots as Philadelphia 76ers' Matisse Thybulle (22) 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

Gordon Hayward's 2020 postseason may be over after only one game.

The Boston Celtics announced Tuesday that Hayward suffered a Grade III ankle sprain in Monday's win over the Philadelphia 76ers and is expected to miss approximately four weeks.

Based on the NBA's every-other-day schedule, the Celtics would likely have to make the Eastern Conference Finals in order for Hayward to return this season.

The team did not say whether he would rehab in the bubble in Orlando, Florida, or head home for rehabilitation. If Hayward leaves the bubble, he'll be subject to another quarantine period upon his return.

Hayward left the Celtics' 109-101 win over Philly after stepping on Daniel Theis' foot in the fourth quarter. He was seen on crutches and wearing a walking boot after the game.

The Celtics are among the deepest teams in these playoffs, but they're going to have difficulty replacing Hayward's production. The 2017 All-Star finally regained his form this season after two lost years related to a gruesome leg injury suffered in October 2017, averaging 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists while making a career-high 50.0 percent of his shots.

His absence will foist even greater responsibility on Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who combined for 61 points in the Celtics' Game 1 victory.