We all know the story – just five minutes into a brand new four-year $128-million dollar contract with the Boston Celtics, it looked as if Gordon Hayward’s season was over. In one of the most gruesome injuries in recent memory, Hayward was forced into the grueling journey of physical rehabilitation, something that not only can physically wear down an athlete, but also mentally.
When the star forward joined The Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday, Hayward was asked an interesting question by the radio personality: Which has been harder, the physical pain or the mental depression from the injury?
“Definitely the depression. It’s been painful, but it’s nothing like sitting around watching the team you were supposed to be playing with this year. I signed to play for the Boston Celtics this year now to only sit and watch the Boston Celtics this year. That part has been difficult and much more difficult to deal with than the pain.”
Although he won’t give an exact timetable on his return for obvious reasons, Hayward continues to work hard every day behind the scenes, pushing himself and his body to achieve his ultimate goal of being able to contribute to his new team:
“I work out every day to try to increase my range of motion and increase my strength in my legs so that I can be back as fast as I can. Whether that’s this year or this summer or next year, I will just let that happen. But for sure, as a competitor, I’m just trying to come back faster than anyone has ever done it.”
While it is entirely realistic for Hayward to return to the court later this season, as the Celtics are expected to make a deep playoff run and challenge the Cavs for supremacy in the Eastern Conference, it is obvious that the All-Star still has a long road of recovery – in all senses of the word – before being ready to return to the court.