Danny Ainge tweet featuring Gordon Hayward's ankle may be an auspicious sign for Boston Celtics

It hasn’t even been three months since Gordon Hayward grotesquely twisted his ankle before a nationally television audience during the opening minutes of the NBA season. On Tuesday, Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge tweeted out a photo of a smiling Hayward poolside. Ainge’s tweet was also a surreptitious update on Hayward’s ankle rehabilitation.

The 27-year-old Celtics forward had his boot removed last month in favor of a brace, pending any setbacks. Apparently there were none, even though his ankle may never look normal without socks on.

“I think we’re approaching 12 weeks out or something like that, and that was where he was anticipated to be if the treatment would continue to go well,” Brad Stevens said on a conference call Wednesday. “He’d be moving out of the boot and then the brace and now being able to do without. I’m not sure that’s a 24-hour thing right now. I haven’t talked to anybody back in Boston since we landed, but obviously nothing’s changed with his timelines. This isn’t like a huge ordeal. This is what was expected.”

The Celtics have said they don’t expect Hayward back this season, but they also haven’t ruled him out.

“No change in our expectations or from what we thought from the time of the surgery,” added Stevens. “This is the process of the rehab and everything else after the surgery happened and after everything went well. Again, I haven’t been told anything any different, and we’ve been in pretty constant contact until I got over here [in London], so I would say that there’s really nothing more to read into. Sorry.”

There is a vast difference between walking around on a recently fractured tibia and ankle and playing 30-40 minutes of intense, full-speed regular-season or playoff basketball. However, the pace of his recovery so far will only spur more speculation from fans and orthopedic surgeons who’ve only observed his recovery from afar.

12 PHOTOS
Gordon Hayward since his devastating ankle injury
See Gallery
Gordon Hayward since his devastating ankle injury
WALTHAM - NOVEMBER 2: Boston Celtics' Gordon Hayward meets with the media for a press conference at the team's practice facility in Waltham, MA on Nov. 2, 2017. It was the first time he has spoken to media since the gruesome injury he suffered early in his first game with the team. (Photo by Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WALTHAM - NOVEMBER 2: Boston Celtics' Gordon Hayward meets with the media for a press conference at the team's practice facility in Waltham, MA on Nov. 2, 2017. It was the first time he has spoken to media since the gruesome injury he suffered early in his first game with the team. (Photo by Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WALTHAM - NOVEMBER 2: Boston Celtics' Gordon Hayward meets with the media for a press conference at the team's practice facility in Waltham, MA on Nov. 2, 2017. It was the first time he has spoken to media since the gruesome injury he suffered early in his first game with the team. (Photo by Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WALTHAM, MA - NOVEMBER 7: Injured Boston Celtics Gordon Hayward shoots baskets from a chair during practice in Waltham, Mass., Nov. 7, 2017. (Photo by Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WALTHAM, MA - NOVEMBER 7: Injured Boston Celtics Gordon Hayward shoots baskets from a chair as Celtic legend Paul Pierce serves as ball boy in Waltham, Mass., Nov. 7, 2017. Pierce interviewed Hayward for an ESPN piece at Celtic practice. (Photo by Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 16: Gordon Hayward #20 of the Boston Celtics watches from the bench during the first quarter of the Celtics game against the Golden State Warriors at TD Garden on November 16, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON - NOVEMBER 16: Injured Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward, center rear, sits behind teammates Jaylen Brown, left, and Kyrie Irving at the Boston bench during the first half. The Boston Celtics host the Golden State Warriors in a regular season NBA basketball game at TD Garden in Boston on Nov. 16, 2017. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WELLESLEY, MA - DECEMBER 8: Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward watches the Boston Celtics take on the San Antonio Spurs on televisions at The Local in Wellesley, MA on Dec. 9, 2017. At left is his trainer Jason Smeathers. Hayward joined Boston Globe reporter Adam Himmelsbach to watch the game and discuss his recovery from a gruesome ankle injury in the first game of the season, his team, and his eventual return. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WELLESLEY, MA - DECEMBER 8: Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward watches the Boston Celtics take on the San Antonio Spurs on television at The Local in Wellesley, MA on Dec. 8, 2017. Hayward joined Boston Globe reporter Adam Himmelsbach to watch the game and discuss his recovery from a gruesome ankle injury in the first game of the season, his team, and his eventual return. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 13: Boston Celtics player Gordon Hayward is flanked by Tate Ross, left and Tavadre Bailey, right, while playing a video game during a visit to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston on Dec. 13, 2017. (Photo by Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 25: Gordon Hayward #20 of the Boston Celtics speaks to crowd during game against the Washington Wizards on December 25, 2017 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 25: Gordon Hayward #20 of the Boston Celtics addresses the crowd before the game between Boston Celtics and the Washington Wizards at TD Garden on December 25, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

One reason for hope? At the end of December, Hayward also received blessings from The Based God, Lil B.

– – – – – – –

DJ Dunson is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at dunsnchecksin@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or Facebook.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.