The Boston Celtics have navigated most of their playoff run without one of their best players, but Gordon Hayward is back in action. After missing a month with a sprained ankle, Hayward returned to the court in Game 3 of Boston's second-round series against the Miami Heat.
And in even better news for the Celtics, Hayward is here to stay. His wife is scheduled to give birth later this month, and Hayward was originally planning to leave the bubble to spend that time with his family. But Hayward has now changed course and will remain in the bubble with the team, according to his wife.
"No I am not in labor," Hayward's wife wrote on Instagram. "When I want to tell everyone when this boy is born I will. Until then please stop talking about it. Gordon isn't going to leave the bubble for the birth so stop asking that too. Thank you."
Hayward suffered a Grade III ankle sprain in Game 1 of the Celtics' first-round series with the Philadelphia 76ers and missed the rest of that series, all of the second round against the Toronto Raptors and the first two games of this matchup with the Heat. But while that was a blow for the Celtics, the silver lining was Hayward was able to return home to go through his rehab while spending time with his family. As a result of that unexpected visit, Hayward and his family decided he would not leave the bubble again to be there for the birth of his fourth child.
Of course, depending on how the rest of this series goes, Hayward may yet back be back in time. Down 2-0, the Celtics are in serious trouble against the Heat, and their season could end as soon as Wednesday night. But Boston is hopeful that Hayward's return can help spur a comeback. He was one of their best, and most versatile players all season long, and his shooting and playmaking abilities will be a huge help against the Heat's pesky zone.