Danny Ainge tweet featuring Gordon Hayward's ankle may be an auspicious sign for Boston Celtics

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<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/players/4724/" data-ylk="slk:Gordon Hayward">Gordon Hayward</a> appearing in public walking without his walking boot is every
Gordon Hayward appearing in public walking without his walking boot is every

It hasn’t even been three months since Gordon Hayward grotesquely twisted his ankle before a nationally television audience during the opening minutes of the NBA season. On Tuesday, Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge tweeted out a photo of a smiling Hayward poolside. Ainge’s tweet was also a surreptitious update on Hayward’s ankle rehabilitation.

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The 27-year-old Celtics forward had his boot removed last month in favor of a brace, pending any setbacks. Apparently there were none, even though his ankle may never look normal without socks on.

“I think we’re approaching 12 weeks out or something like that, and that was where he was anticipated to be if the treatment would continue to go well,” Brad Stevens said on a conference call Wednesday. “He’d be moving out of the boot and then the brace and now being able to do without. I’m not sure that’s a 24-hour thing right now. I haven’t talked to anybody back in Boston since we landed, but obviously nothing’s changed with his timelines. This isn’t like a huge ordeal. This is what was expected.”

The Celtics have said they don’t expect Hayward back this season, but they also haven’t ruled him out.

“No change in our expectations or from what we thought from the time of the surgery,” added Stevens. “This is the process of the rehab and everything else after the surgery happened and after everything went well. Again, I haven’t been told anything any different, and we’ve been in pretty constant contact until I got over here [in London], so I would say that there’s really nothing more to read into. Sorry.”

There is a vast difference between walking around on a recently fractured tibia and ankle and playing 30-40 minutes of intense, full-speed regular-season or playoff basketball. However, the pace of his recovery so far will only spur more speculation from fans and orthopedic surgeons who’ve only observed his recovery from afar.

One reason for hope? At the end of December, Hayward also received blessings from The Based God, Lil B.

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DJ Dunson is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at dunsnchecksin@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or Facebook.

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