Hornets' Gordon Hayward ruled out for play-in tournament with foot injury

Gordon Hayward won’t be available for the postseason play-in tournament this week.

The Charlotte Hornets announced on Sunday that Hayward will be out indefinitely due to discomfort in his left foot. He is going to be put into a cast, and will be evaluated again in two weeks.

Hayward has played just once since he sustained a left ankle sprain on Feb. 7. He returned briefly earlier this month against the 76ers, but hasn’t played since. He missed Sunday’s 124-108 win against the Washington Wizards, too, his fourth straight missed game.

Hayward averaged 15.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game so far this season, his second with the Hornets. The 32-year-old is in the second year of a four-year, $120 million deal.

The Hornets had clinched the final play-in spot before Sunday's win, which marked their third straight. They had a chance to jump up higher, but both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks won their respective games. The Hornets will now take on the Hawks in the play-in game, and the winner will advance to take on the loser of the Cavaliers' game against the Brooklyn Nets for a chance to make it into the playoffs.

Either way, the Hornets won’t have Hayward available for that play-in tournament or the start of the playoffs, if they make it that far. At best, assuming Hayward’s rehab goes well, he could return in time for the tail end of the first round or the start start of a second-round series.

Gordon Hayward of the Charlotte Hornets
Gordon Hayward will be out for at least two weeks with a lingering foot injury. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)