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Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge said Thursday small forward Gordon Hayward is around two weeks away from getting out of his walking boot as he recovers from a severe leg injury.

Ainge noted that the team won’t rush to get Hayward back on the court, but the way the 27-year old forward is progressing you can’t rule out a potential return late in the season. Especially if the Celtics make a deep playoff run as expected.


He hasn’t expressed (wanting to return this season), but just knowing professional athletes, I know that down inside he wants to be back faster than anybody has ever been back from this kind of injury. He’s got a competitive streak to him and he’s asking lots of questions. … He’s diligent in his rehab. I know what’s going on in his mind, but I don’t think he’ll say anything about how fast he wants to get back.”

While Hayward handles his rehab, the Celtics have continued to take care of business on the court. Boston is currently sitting atop the Eastern Conference with an NBA-best 22-4 record.