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Celtics news: Will Gordon Hayward START against 76ers? | Other | Sport

Hayward suffered a gruesome injury just six minutes into his Celtics debut last season, badly breaking his ankle in two places.

The injury kept him out for the entirety of the season, forcing him to watch on from the sidelines as Boston went on to reach the Conference Finals.

But he has returned to the court in preseason, averaging 19.7 minutes per game.

Now, all attention will turn to Boston’s game against Philadelphia tomorrow with Hayward taking to the court for an official game at TD Gardens for the first time.

Will Gordon Hayward start for the Celtics?

Having not played a competitive match for over a year, Hayward may take some time to get back up to full speed.

He has started all three preseason games which he featured, before being rested in the final preparation match against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Celtics haven’t announced yet whether Hayward will start the season opener against Philadelphia.

Kyrie Irving will also make his return from a lengthy injury lay-off, although his place in the starting line-up is expected.

Boston head coach Brad Stevens admits the duo are good to go, but Hayward will be under a minutes-restriction to begin with.

“The plan is for them to play back-to-backs,” Stevens said.

“Gordon will be a little limited early from a minutes standpoint.

“Not in a big way but we’ll probably have to manage that just because he’s been out for so long.”

Hayward’s progress from the horror injury has been well documented over the past few months.

But the 28-year-old is looking forward to being back on the court in front of the home fans.

“For the first game it’s just going be all smiles to be out there,” Hayward said.

“Playing out there in front of the home fans and being on the court again after what I went through is going to be a good first step for me so I’m extremely excited.”

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