After being sidelined for a month with a broken left hand, Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward intends to return Monday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers, coach Brad Stevens announced earlier in the day.
Prior to his injury-shortened outing on Nov. 9, Hayward had enjoyed a strong start to the season. Through the Celtics' first seven games, the 29-year-old was averaging 20.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 4.6 assists.
Initially, the Celtics estimated a six-week timeline for Hayward's recovery.
"I think as it's steadily improving and can do more and more, you start to think (about) coming back a little bit earlier," Hayward said Sunday, according to Mass Live's John Karalis. "I think you set the timeline a little bit later than what you’re hoping for, just so that (the media) and everyone else isn't like, 'If you’re late like, what’s the deal?'"
Hayward is set to rejoin a Celtics team that sits second in the Eastern Conference with a 16-5 record, trailing only the Milwaukee Bucks.