Banner 18 is coming in 2019. Another step towards that ultimate goal took shape in a big way. The oddly forgotten superstar, Gordon Hayward, wrote about his recovery from the catastrophic injury that robbed his season. He didn’t just write about his road back, it fired me up…big time. I’m not a doctor but it sounds like Hayward won’t have any complications for the start of the 2018-2019 season. What’s even more encouraging is that he won’t be robot man either. All the hardware has also been removed from his leg. Better yet, let him tell you how he’s doing.
Below is an excerpt from his blog which narrates how his rehab is progressing:
“I had been progressing really well. I had been doing cuts laterally. I was jumping. I hadn’t done anything that explosive and I wasn’t quite 100 percent with any of it, but I was slowly building up to that.
Problem was, I was also still having some pain on the outside of my ankle, kind of where the peroneal tendon is. I had been reporting back daily how I was feeling, and the team that I was working with in Indianapolis—along with the Celtics training staff—had surmised that it could be the hardware they put in during my initial surgery causing some irritation.
But it was hard for them to say with any certainty, because no one really knows what’s going on, how my body is reacting to the hardware, except for me.
And all I knew was that I was experiencing pain, and something didn’t feel right.
So I called up Dr. Porter, who collaborated on my surgery and who’s advised us throughout this process, just to ask what he thought. I explained to him what was going on, and he said it could be a couple different things, so we should do a test to figure out what it is. He told me that it could just be that my muscles were sore, and it was a strength issue, and I just needed to continue to rehab and have it get stronger, and eventually, it would go away. Or it could be something different.
But everyone was on board with wanting to get an answer for me as soon as possible.
So I flew back to Indianapolis and did what is called a Cybex test. Essentially, they used it to test the strength in both my ankles. The first round that I did the test, my left ankle was significantly weaker than my right. It was approximately 70 percent of the strength of the right ankle. On a test like that, 30 percent is a pretty significant number, so that raised some red flags.
Then Dr. Porter injected my left ankle with some local anesthetic to numb the area, and I did the same test again. That time, not only was my left 100 percent of the strength of my right, it was actually slightly stronger. That let Dr. Porter know that it was not a strength issue, but a pain issue, and the pain was basically blocking my progression.
That revelation made it pretty clear that it was the hardware that was causing the issue. According to both doctors, it is something that is very rare. Usually, you don’t have to take out the hardware. I remember when I got the surgery done in the first place, they told me, “We are probably not going to have to take out the hardware, but you never know.”
So we got on a conference call with Dr. Porter, and the doctors and staff in Boston, and collectively decided that we should take the hardware out of my ankle.
The next night I was in surgery. Dr. Porter went in and took out everything that they had put in my ankle. There were two incisions made to take all the stuff out. They took the plate, the screws and the tightrope that was in there. So now, I basically have a normal ankle—just there are some holes in the bone where they had to put the screws in, and those are going to heal up.”
My biggest worries have been washed away! I was concerned that Hayward would be 80-90 percent of his former self for the rest of his career like Paul George. When George was able to carry the Pacers to the East Finals by himself, he was on the verge of becoming a top 5 player. After his leg injury, while still very good, he hasn’t recaptured that magic because he still has metal in his leg. Hayward just has a normal leg now and has the entire offseason to get back to that All-Star form.
The Celtics don’t need Kawhi. They have Gordon Hayward who is a flat out stud. Do we remember that this is the same guy who lifted the Jazz by himself over the then CP3 Clippers in the first round? Do we remember that this is a guy who averaged 22 points per game on 47 percent shooting where teams were drooling over the chance to offer him a max deal? That guy still very well exists. A starting five of Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Al Horford is the best starting five in the league.
The Celtics are coming, the Celtics are coming, the Celtics are coming…