Celtics' Stevens: Hayward likely to return during Eastern Conference finals
Jesse D. Garrabrant / National Basketball Association / Getty

The Boston Celtics appear set to get a key piece of their rotation back during the Eastern Conference finals.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said Friday that Gordon Hayward is likely to return from his Grade 3 right ankle sprain during the team's upcoming series against the Miami Heat.

"I think he'll be back at some point in that series, but I don't know when," Stevens said, according to Boston.com's Nicole Yang.

Boston has been without Hayward since Game 1 of its first-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers. The 30-year-old forward recently re-entered the Orlando bubble after rehabbing his injury away from the team.

In Hayward's absence, the Celtics completed a sweep of the 76ers before outlasting the Toronto Raptors in a marathon seven-game series in Round 2.

Hayward has been a steady contributor in 52 starts for Boston in 2019-20, averaging 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 4.1 assists during the regular season.

Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals is scheduled for Sept. 15.

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Celtics' Stevens: Hayward likely to return during Eastern Conference finals
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