Celtics’ Hayward out of walking boot

Celtics forward Gordon Hayward says he intends to be ready for the season-opening game.

Boston Celtics small forward Gordon Hayward, who suffered a dislocated left ankle and fractured tibia on opening night against the Cleveland Cavaliers, is out of his walking boot.

Hayward was at a charity event in Boston Wednesday and was wearing a small brace on his left ankle.

“The process is always fluid and can change at any time but, for me, today was the day where I walk around without the boot at all,” Hayward told ESPN. “And so I’m going to try to move forward without the boot. Depending on how my foot reacts, how much activity I’m able to do on it without it being sore, I could move back into the boot or I could never look back and never see the boot again. I’m just taking it day by day; today has been awesome so far without the boot.

“I think I’m a goal-oriented type of person. So I set my sights on a [short-term] goal and just focus on that until that goal is completed,” Hayward said. “I have a great group of people around me; the Celtics’ staff has been phenomenal, accommodating to everything that I need. My trainer [Jason Smeathers] is here, my wife [Robyn] at home, everybody is keeping me motivated and making sure that I’m sticking with protocol. It’s definitely like a team thing for me. I have a lot of people that are helping me. That makes it easier.”

The Celtics have maintained that they do not expect Hayward back this season and Hayward told reporters in November the same thing.

Hayward signed a four-year, $128 million free agent deal with the Celtics over the summer after spending seven years with the Utah Jazz. The 27-year-old has career averages of 15.6 points.