Celtics' Hayward open to returning this season

Boston Celtics star small forward Gordon Hayward is hopeful he can return from his gruesome injury this season.

Hayward suffered leg and ankle injuries during the first quarter of the season's first game.

But the 27-year-old hopes he can come back this NBA campaign, despite expectations he will miss the rest of 2017-18.

"My mind is open to that," Hayward said Friday before Boston's game against the Utah Jazz, via ESPN.

"I'm trying to get back as fast as I can. It all depends on how I heal. I'm taking it day-by-day, goal-by-goal. We'll see what happens."

Hayward signed a four-year $128million contract this offseason to reunite with coach Brad Stevens.

Despite losing Hayward, the Celtics have maintained the Eastern Conference lead, helped by a 16-game winning streak early in the season.

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